History

Since ancient times,, marquetry consist in embedding diverse MATERIALS In a wood panel.
During the fourteenth century, in Italy, the technique is developed by combinations of wood species leading to the creation of paintings, hence the name of "wood paint" to designate these marquetry.

In the seventeenth century André Charles Boulle develops a superimposed cutting technique which will then take his name.

The technique consists to superimpose different materials in a same package and cutting them altogether. Therefore inverted patterns are obtained.

The organic material (wood, tortoise shell) makes up the background and becomes a marquetry in first part and the inlay material (brass, tin) makes up the second part or counterpart.
There is also another technique: piece by piece.

Marquetry piece by piece is realized from a very precise drawing and then cutting of each piece separately in different materials ; hence not applying the Boulle superposed cutting technique .

These two techniques are most common to make the marquetry.

Restoration of marquetry

 
My workshop restores antique furniture from the seventeenth to the twentieth century (dressers, desks, secretaries...) to smaller items : boxes, cases , writing cases, watches support... with a specialty for cartels and clocks

It consist to consolidate or even replace if necessary the adhesive film that keeps the marquetry on the frame. Consolidation can be conducted under vacuum without removal by adding Colagene or if the frame is damaged (cracks , worm holes ... ), depositing the inlay to repair the support. The rebonding is performed most often vacuum.

For the replacement of missing elements, a footprint is taken and the material is cut accordingly. Once all the elements of marquetry are glued, surface is polished.

The replaced elements are engraved or receive tinting as necessary.

 
Preservation

The use of vacuum technique allows among others things the consolidation in depth of worm-eaten or fragile materials.

The use vacuum bonding with reversible traditional glues allows to get a better surface and to avoid the excessive sanding stages damaging to marquetry (wear, disappearance of prints or colors)

The absence of oxygen during the process (anoxia ) eliminates xylophages insects and their larvae without altering patinas or surface decorations.

In order to provide the best possible restoration, it is always very important to perform a thorough diagnostic prior restoration with the owner.