Marquetry antiques are generally pieces of antique furniture or decorative items that have been applied with marquetry techniques. Many antique items produced with marquetry are highly collectible today.
Marquetry is an artform which involves the application of pieces of veneer to an object. The object in question is often a piece of furniture, such as a table or a chair.
Veneers are usually wood but can include metals, brass, ivory and bone.
History of marquetry
Marquetry techniques have been employed since around 2,600 BC, in Mesopotamia. Sienna, Italy, was the unrivalled home of marquetry in the 11th century.
The art came to prominence in Britain and France during the 17th and 18th centuries. Frenchman André Charles Boulle was one of the most noted practitioners, supplying furniture to Louis XIV in the late 17th and early 18th century.
Italy remains the main focus for the craft today, with the city of Sorrento having led the way since the 19th century.
Notable sales of marquetry antiques
A circa 1750 Louis XV commode, featuring bois de bout floral marquetry, sold for $1.58m at Christie’s New York in 2006.
A circa 1770 Thomas Chippendale-produced secretaire-chest, featuring marquetry artwork, realised $295,500 at Christie’s New York in 2002.
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