Karen - Boulle style marquetry box number 1

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Project by madburg posted 07-12-2017 07:26 AM 1071 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the first of my Boulle style marquetry boxes. The marquetry panels for this and the three others where produced by stack cutting a sandwich of materials on a chevalat. With the parts interchanged you get as many different color combinations of the design as there are materials in the stack.

This one has an ‘ebony’ and ‘tortoise shell’ background, with brass, pewter and jarrah details. The metal parts are engraved to add detail to the design.

Cherry veneer is used for the interior with solid cherry for the removable trays, drawers, and edgings. It is lined with YSL blue goat skin.

To see more on my journey with these boxes visit my blog Boulle style marquetry.

Thanks for looking.

-- Madburg WA

6 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25178 posts in 3954 days

#1 posted 07-12-2017 11:03 AM

Gorgeous box!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View PaulDoug's profile


2394 posts in 2552 days

#2 posted 07-12-2017 02:44 PM

A true works of art! So very beautiful! You say “thanks for looking”, I say thank you so much for showing.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Eyal's profile


91 posts in 2415 days

#3 posted 07-12-2017 02:47 PM

The contrast of the colors with the lining in perfect harmony. fabulous box!

View BurlyBob's profile


7841 posts in 3114 days

#4 posted 07-12-2017 05:28 PM

Absolutely incredible!

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 3644 days

#5 posted 07-13-2017 12:02 AM

Beautiful craftsmanship.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View madburg's profile


280 posts in 1692 days

#6 posted 07-13-2017 01:24 AM

Thanks every one. Interesting that this has had the least number of comments out of the four boxes. Possibly because it was the first I posted so appeared lower down the postings ..............

Karen’s to my mind has the best colour combination. It was the first one completed as it ended up being a commission and 60th birthday present. The other three are all gifts for my great nieces. I’m not sure about the YSL blue interior in Karen but its certainly is striking, and is what my God daughter wanted for her Mum, as she loves the Yves Saint Laurent colour. My God daughter was the recipient of a box for Frances – see my project

Karen is less complicated inside than the other three having fewer drawers and deeper trays.

I’ve now added comments to Martha about problems with the polyurethane finish which affected Mattie to lesser extent, but fortunately not Karen and Charlotte

This shows the ‘bloom’ on the brass on Mattie, but I don’t plan to re-finish her – well not yet.

My own preferences out of the four boxes are …............. 1st Charlotte, and a very close run thing to 2. Karen, then 3rd Mattie, and 4th Martha. Both are in premier partie , a light design in a dark background. As such they were the most valuable in Boulles day. Mattie and Martha are in Contra partie a dark pattern in a light back ground.

Oh and by the way the ‘ebony’ isn’t ebony, but dyed black veneer, and the ‘tortoise shell’ or turtle shell which Boulle would have used is a plastic replica purchased from a luthier supplier.

Thanks every one.

-- Madburg WA

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