Marquetry, Inlay & Fillets

In our workshop, the marquetry for reproductions and restorations is entirely handmade and is made according to the traditional methods. We made inlays in all kinds of materials such as: ivory, mother-of-the-pearl, semi-precious stones, etc. as was done for the production of precious Florentine furniture during XVI century. We are specialists in producing and complex and fine marquetry08bmarquetry patterns, such as the famous ‘marquetry en jasmin’, Boulle marquetry and the beautiful designs of the renowned cabinetmakers Reisener and Oeben, which represented ‘The Joy Of Living’ in XVIII century. Furthermore, we master the technique of brass fillets inlay and we still elaborate wooden fillets of diverse and complex patterns. We always use veneer to suit strictly to
the styles. Finally, we dye the veneers with natural colors in a range of shades.marquetry12b

Marquetry is an ancient art that was preceded by the incrustation on wood, already used during the ancient Egypt. This inlaid work consisted in carving the raw wood that was filled with either other woods or other materials such as bone, horn, stone, etc. However, the art of marquetry, which differs technically of the incrustation, seems to have begun in Asia Minor (currently Turkey) around the year 350 BC. Subsequently, a kind of inlay named tarsia certosina was developed during the Roman Empire. It was a technique that relied on the construction of small panels by assembling wood pieces of different colors and shades to achieve complex geometric shapes. Then, these pieces were inlaid in recesses made in the surface of wooden panels. In marquetry11bItaly, during the fourteenth century was developed the so-called geometric tarsia consisting of completely cover the surface to be decorated with assembled veneer pieces, rather than embedding them. During the Italian Renaissance, the craftsmen of the Florentine school of Marquetry produced the finest and more complex works of tarsia geometrica, which were combined with incrustations to produce beautiful and valuable pieces, which furnished the European courts. The major representative of this school was Benedetto da Maiano (1442-1497), who introduced pictorial elements and perspectives to the tarsia geometrica and therefore, he is regarded as the inventor of marquetry. Furthermore, the wood started to be dyed with colors, leading to increased creativity in the marquetry production. However, the marquetry reached its maximum splendor in Europe during the seventeenth century. France was among the countries that counted with the best producers of marquetry, which evolved technically towards the called tarsia a incastro. This new way of marquetry07bproducing marquetry consisted of cutting a package of two to five overlapping veneers, optimizing the manufacturing process of the parts. Pierre Golle and André-Charles Boulle were two famous marquetry producers that elaborated beautiful and refined marquetry patterns. In fact, Boulle, the famous cabinetmaker of King Louis XIV, adopted and developed the tarsia a incastro in a distinctive new style of composition of positive and negative patterns by assembling parts in ’partie’ or ‘contre-partie’. In addition, he used new materials, like tortoiseshell and brass.

Between the seventeenth and twentieth, Paris became the artistic center of Europe. Thus, the eighteenth century was clearly represented by the furniture made during the Louis XV’s reign in France. In this period, the furniture considerably changed its shape and the design of the marquetry evolved accordingly. Thus, beautiful patterns we created, which combined the veneers in geometric creations such as ‘frisage’ and ‘l’aile de papillon’ (butterfly wing rosette) and many central marquetry panels surrounded by a frame of scrolls and arabesques. The important cabinetmakers who filets02bdominated the second half of the eighteenth century were Jean-François Oeben (1723-1763) and Jean-Henri Riesener (1734-1806), who innovated by producing geometric compositions such as mosaic marquetry.

During the nineteenth century, the marquetry got importance again in the French Empire governed by Napoleon III. In this period the styles of furniture that had appeared most important in the history of France are retrieved and combined, trying to regain the splendor of the ancient French reigns.




Masterpieces of Marquetry. Pierre Ramond. Three-volume set. Getty Publications. 2001. ISBN 978-0-89236-595-1.

Marquetry (An international Craft Classic). Pierre Ramond. The Taunton Press. 1st US edition 1989. ISBN-10: 0942391195. ISBN-13 978-0942391190.

Les ebenistes du XVIII° siecle leurs oeuvres et leurs marques Relie – 1953. De Salverte Comte François. 365 p. F. De Nobele, Paris, 1975. ISBN 2-85189-04-2

French Furniture Makers: The Art of the Ebeniste from Louis XIV to the Revolution. Alexandre Pradere (translated by Perran Wood). 442 p. Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd. 1990. ISBN-10 0856673684 / ISBN-13 978-0856673689.

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