Karen, Charlotte, Martha and Mattie - four Boulle style marquetry boxes

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Project by madburg posted 07-12-2017 07:05 AM 2670 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These four Boulle style marquetry boxes are the result of a very enjoyable and challenging years wood working. I always like a challenge and having dabbled with various methods and styles of marquetry on previous projects I decided to have a go at Boulle style marquetry. The essence of Boulle marquetry is the use of brass, pewter (tin), ebony and tortoise shell as the veneers, rather than different coloured woods. With the metal elements then engraved to add extra detail to the design, you have a style that will for ever be attributed to Andre Charles Boulle, ‘Ebeniste du Roi’ to Louis XIV.

The pictures of the four different tops are taken before the metal was engraved and the tops finished. You can see details of the completed boxes in my projects –

Also for more on my journey in learning the intricacies of Boulle style marquetry see my Boulle Marquetry blogs starting with

Thanks for looking.

-- Madburg WA

11 comments so far

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1133 posts in 3531 days

#1 posted 07-12-2017 07:31 AM

Marvellous! I think you have cracked it!
Your patience and attention to detail have defined the finished pieces.
Well done!

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Longcase's profile


102 posts in 2666 days

#2 posted 07-12-2017 01:08 PM

All four are very impressive,
Very well done

View DocSavage45's profile


9068 posts in 4062 days

#3 posted 07-12-2017 06:27 PM

The work here is impressive. Wow pieces. My favorite is a previous posting. “Woman in gold.” Oh yeah your patience and precision is beyond my comprehension. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View jaguar1201's profile


22 posts in 2087 days

#4 posted 07-12-2017 06:59 PM

These are, again, all outstanding pieces of your artistic eye and outstanding woodworking skills. I would encourage you to put your collected wisdom into a published book for the rest of the world to study, even though it is in the blogs.
Enrico Caruso

-- Enrico, Stow OHIO

View madburg's profile


346 posts in 2062 days

#5 posted 07-13-2017 02:18 PM

Thanks all. Good to hear from you Enrico, Jim and the Doc. There’s always more to learn, though I do feel I’ve learnt a lot about Boulle as a result of these boxes. Not sure I’ve cracked it quite yet! I’ve one more to make where I’ve already glued the marquetry down onto the sides and top. But there isn’t much brass or tin left in the design, as most has been used in the other four boxes. So I’m trying engraving the faux tortoise shell and filling it with gold paint, to add a bit of depth to the foliage in the design.

-- Madburg WA

View shipwright's profile


8748 posts in 4017 days

#6 posted 07-14-2017 03:44 PM

Sorry Martin, I’ve been away sailing and missed a lot of things. These are, as I knew they would be, beautifully done and detailed. You should be very proud of them and of your triumph over this somewhat daunting challenge.
Congrats on a great job!
What will we be seeing from you next ???

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4086 days

#7 posted 07-14-2017 04:02 PM

These are all outstanding boxes and they exhibit a lot of beautiful details and craftsmanship. I love the marquetry and the patterns that you used.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View tinnman65's profile


1416 posts in 4633 days

#8 posted 07-15-2017 01:31 AM

These boxes turned out wonderful !

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View madburg's profile


346 posts in 2062 days

#9 posted 07-19-2017 08:35 AM

Thanks all.

-- Madburg WA

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 5049 days

#10 posted 07-23-2017 03:53 PM

Wonderful work! I am going to have to go back and read through your blogs.

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View madburg's profile


346 posts in 2062 days

#11 posted 07-23-2017 11:34 PM

Give it a go Mathew – you’ll enjoy the experience no matter how frustrating it is at times!!!

-- Madburg WA

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