History of Marquetry (with Glossary)


The earliest evidence that I am aware of for marquetry/inlay is a remarkable casket from the city or UR, in Mesopotamia dated c2600 BC. Much of the work is cut from ivory and set in bitumen and is a pictorial representation of a mixture of royal and daily life. Not until the European renaissance do we again encounter pictorial decoration using contrasting veneers in the form of intarsia. This inlay technique was originally centred in the Italian city of Sienna in the 11th century and much used to decorate church furniture and panels. Continue reading

Marquetry and Me

Stuart King at the marquetry cutter’s donkey

I left school in 1957 aged 15 years with notions of being an archaeologist or naturalist, or even a film cameraman, but with not one qualification to my name. My furniture-making farther said that I had no choice but to seek a job in the local furniture industry. There has been such an industry in my home town of High Wycombe (35 miles north of London) for over 200 years so it seemed perfectly natural, although not very exciting, to follow in my father’s footsteps. Continue reading