/mahr"ki tree/, n., pl. marquetries.
inlaid work of variously colored woods or other materials, esp. in furniture.
Also, marqueterie /mahr"ki tree/.
[1555-65; < MF marqueterie inlaid work, equiv. to marquet(er) to speckle, spot, inlay (lit., make marks < Gmc; see MARK1) + -erie -ERY]

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Decorative work in which thin pieces of wood, metal, or organic material, such as shell or mother-of-pearl, are affixed in intricate patterns to the flat surfaces of furniture.

Marquetry became popular in late 16th-century France and spread throughout Europe as the demand for luxurious home furnishings rose in the next two centuries. See also André-Charles Boulle.

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      thin sheets of wood, metal, or organic material, such as shell or mother-of-pearl, cut into intricate patterns according to a preconceived design and affixed to the flat surfaces of furniture. The process became popular in France in the late 16th century and received an enormous stimulus in the two following centuries as the European economy started to expand and created a demand for luxurious domestic furniture. The work of André-Charles Boulle (Boulle, André-Charles), in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, achieved such beauty that furniture adorned with marquetry patterns is sometimes known as boulle work.

      To produce the desired effect, the ébéniste, or specialist in marquetry, either drew the pattern directly on the base wood or affixed a paper pattern onto the wood. The thin sheets were then cut out with a burin or, later, sometimes with a saw, the pattern assembled and glued onto the carcass. Boulle initiated an ingenious method for use with contrasting materials, such as ebony and ivory. Two sheets of identical thickness were glued together and the pattern cut out. When the sheets were taken apart, it was then possible to decorate two panels of the same size with identical patterns in contrasting materials. As marquetry-work tends to splinter, vulnerable places such as the outer edges of the design and keyholes were often protected with mounts of bronze or other metals, often of an intricate shape, which add to the decorative richness of the piece of furniture. Marquetry patterns became more and more complex and, though often floral, they could also include geometric and narrative subjects. The range of materials used also became more varied, including not only rare tropical woods and metals such as silver, bronze, and brass but also a wide range of other materials of a semiprecious nature.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Marquetry — The image on the cover of this box was made using the technique of marquetry. In contrast, thi …   Wikipedia

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  • marquetry — also marqueterie noun Etymology: Middle French marqueterie, from marqueter to checker, inlay, from marque mark Date: 1563 decorative work in which elaborate patterns are formed by the insertion of pieces of material (as wood, shell, or ivory)… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • marquetry — noun a) A decorative woodworking technique in which veneers of wood, ivory, metal etc. are inlaid into a wood surface to form intricate designs b) An example of this work …   Wiktionary

  • marquetry — mar|quet|ry [ˈma:kıtri US ˈma:r ] n [U] a pattern made of coloured pieces of wood laid together, or the art of making these patterns …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • marquetry — mar|que|try [ markətri ] noun uncount a design or picture made with several different types of wood attached to the surface of a piece of furniture …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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