Martha - Boulle style marquetry box number 3

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Project by madburg posted 07-12-2017 07:57 AM 1369 views 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the third 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 a brass and pewter background, with ‘tortoise shell’, jarrah and ‘ebony’, details. The metal parts are engraved to add detail to the design. It is a contra partie design – a dark coloured design set into a light background.

Cheery veneer is used for the interior with solid cherry for the removable trays, and drawers, with cherry and walnut for the edgings. This one has three removable trays and five small drawers, three of which are hidden behind a false side. It is lined with a dark blue coloured goat skin.

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

Thanks for looking.

-- Madburg WA

16 comments so far

View MontanaBob's profile


873 posts in 3483 days

#1 posted 07-12-2017 10:43 AM

All of your boxes are Outstanding…....I am real curious as to the size of those boxes??

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24922 posts in 3904 days

#2 posted 07-12-2017 11:02 AM

Gorgeous box!!

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

View Softshell's profile


40 posts in 1455 days

#3 posted 07-12-2017 12:37 PM

Madburg – stunning boxes. The exteriors are beautiful, and the interior layouts are excellent designs. I like they tray concept, plus the back layer of drawers … what an excellent detail.

View Ottacat's profile


517 posts in 2650 days

#4 posted 07-12-2017 02:17 PM

Exceptional work, this is truly an heirloom piece.

View madburg's profile


280 posts in 1642 days

#5 posted 07-12-2017 02:38 PM

Thanks for the feedback guys. For MontanaBob the boxes overall are 350mm (14”) x 250mm (10”) x 150mm (6”) which was dictated by the size of the brass sheet I could get. The shets were 300mm (12”) square, so with the boarders and stringing added you can see there was no wasted brass.

-- Madburg WA

View Eyal's profile


91 posts in 2365 days

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

simply stunning again!

View PaulDoug's profile


2391 posts in 2502 days

#7 posted 07-12-2017 02:51 PM

Ditto statement on box 1!

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

View Julian's profile


1591 posts in 3489 days

#8 posted 07-12-2017 04:44 PM

Wow! You did a beautiful job.

-- Julian

View WoodPixel's profile


9 posts in 2996 days

#9 posted 07-12-2017 04:56 PM

Wonderfull work, I love boulle as a style. It’s very classy when done right.

I look forward to reading your blog and hopefully seeing your chevalier.

-- Evan, Australia,

View BurlyBob's profile


7689 posts in 3064 days

#10 posted 07-12-2017 05:41 PM

Yeah, just fantastic. All your boxes blow me away!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3665 days

#11 posted 07-12-2017 07:06 PM

This box is such an outstanding piece and displays a lot of nice details and craftsmanship.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View jim65's profile


1020 posts in 2732 days

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

just beautiful. all of them. wow!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View Duff's profile


169 posts in 1317 days

#13 posted 07-12-2017 11:40 PM

Gorgeous! I hope to one day develop my skills to that caliber!

-- You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven - Jimi Hendrix

View tomd's profile


2218 posts in 4569 days

#14 posted 07-13-2017 12:39 AM

Terrific box and great workmanship.

-- Tom D

View madburg's profile


280 posts in 1642 days

#15 posted 07-13-2017 12:50 AM

Thanks one and all. Interesting that this one got the most comments so far. It is currently on the bench being stripped and re-polished – a bit like a restoration. When I polished the boxes I used a brush on satin polyurethane. But due to the black paint that fills the engraving lines, I was worried that if I brushed the poly on it would drag the paint out and possibly make a mess!!! So, for the first coat I used a spray-on, made by the same manufacturer, to seal it I thought. I then applied umpteen coats of brush-on, carefully rubbing down between coats, to make sure I didn’t rub through the poly. Well a week or so into the process, I noticed that the brass was starting to look very dull and a dark ‘bloom’ was spreading over it. Not so with the pewter.

a similar thing was happening to Mattie as well, but not quite so bad.

Karen and Charlotte while they lost a bit of shine from the brass and pewter were OK.

At first I thought “Oh it just makes them look more authentic and antique!!” But Martha got worse so I decided to strip off the poly and start again. What I think had happened was two things: 1. I didn’t leave the finished filled engraving long enough to really harden off before I sprayed on the first coat, and 2. I possibly sprayed on too much, and the excess solvent leached out the black pigments from the paint.

Any how this time with the re-finishing I decided not to spray-on a first coat and went straight to brush on. I decided that by now the black filling was well sealed and set. It certainly looks as though its worked as the pewter and brass have held their shine. Will have to see what its like in a few weeks….....

Thanks again for all your feedback. Have a go …......

-- Madburg WA

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