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Project by shipwright posted 08-20-2012 10:07 PM 6182 views 22 times favorited 75 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Music is a little French style table of my own design that has taken me about half as long to build as my sailboat did. In Marie Antoinette’s day it would have been called a writing table and I would like to think she may have been amused by it.

The design started as an idea for a leg that I sketched up last winter, gathered speed when I did a chevalet demo at the local fine arts show in the spring and sort of grew from there.

The central motif is an etude from ASFM and the other designs are modifications via inkscape of various motifs found in Pierre Ramond’s Masterpieces of Marquetry series of books.

The substrate is western maple and the top is baltic birch plywood. Joinery is mortise and tenon. The solid edges of the top and the balls on the legs are queen ebony. The marquetry is done in macassar ebony, birdseye maple, purpleheart, green poplar, holly, mahogany, bubinga, and in the central motif only, dyed yellow, black and green. I may have missed a few.

As near as I can count there are about 1500 individual pieces and the cutting was done on the chevalet in a combination of Boulle, piece by piece (classic), and painting in wood styles depending upon the requirements of the element. All assembly is with 192 gram hot hide glue, there is no metal. The finish is french polish.

My greatest regret is my ignorance of period furniture, something I need to work on. Because of this the piece is almost certainly a “misfit” in the world of fine furniture. It’s one of those “If I’d known it was going to turn out this well I would have paid more attention” kind of situations. Next time I will.

There is a construction blog here.

I hope you will enjoy this piece as I certainly enjoyed creating it.

Any comments, questions and please, critiques are welcome.

Thanks for looking,


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

75 comments so far

View peteg's profile


4438 posts in 4278 days

#1 posted 08-20-2012 10:12 PM

Paul, what an absolutely fabulous creation, I am speechless looking at the workmanship & fine detail. I think this woud have to be the top post of the year to date.
Hats of to this man : ))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5337 days

#2 posted 08-20-2012 10:20 PM

That is just stunning. I think she would have loved it.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View cathyb's profile


860 posts in 4699 days

#3 posted 08-20-2012 10:21 PM

Wow, now that’s a museum-destined MASTERPIECE. Absolutely exquisite. The details are amazing in every way.
I’ll share it with my friends and they will share it with their friends. One day everyone will know what an extraordinary talent you have. Thanks for sharing….....

-- cathyb, Hawaii

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 5540 days

#4 posted 08-20-2012 10:23 PM

A Stunning work, Paul. You’re going to spend your retirement filling the house with gorgeous hand made furniture!


View SisQMark's profile


384 posts in 4055 days

#5 posted 08-20-2012 10:33 PM

Absolutely beautiful Paul. You are an exceptional artist. I could only dream to accomplish a project of this magnitude. This is proof positive you are a master of the craft. Thanks for sharing with us & enjoy the rest of your day.

-- Don't waste today, it is yesterdays tomorrow!~SisQMark

View tinnman65's profile


1444 posts in 4869 days

#6 posted 08-20-2012 10:33 PM

Great work Paul, We finally get to see the long awaited finished piece! Your marquetry work is amazing on this and I love the french polish, it looks like glass on the top! This my not be a true reproduction in its style but its far from a misfit.

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

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4758 days

#7 posted 08-20-2012 10:36 PM

well the day has arrived, Ive watched this from the beginning, and was awe struck from the beginning, and knew i would be at the very end multiplied many time over, my previous comment stands, you should be the head designer and maker for the greatest collectors of such fine furniture..of coarse things like this only exist in the homes of the rich and famous, and of your home, which after this build you should be , maybe not rich, but you should be famous, congrats on a life time accomplishment, i would love to be a passenger on your sail boat, and i would love to write a letter at this table.P.S 2 thoughts, i think your homeowners policy must be going up after this now sits in your home, and 2. im really sorry Lucy is not here to jump up onto it..wouldn’t that cause a screech, from you…lol

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5507 days

#8 posted 08-20-2012 10:46 PM

That is STILL a very awesomely STUNNING piece!

You really out did yourself on this one Paul…
You went up a notch or two…

Thank you very much for sharing this masterpiece!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View nuttree's profile


280 posts in 4779 days

#9 posted 08-20-2012 10:50 PM

Exquisite piece, exquisite workmanship.

-- I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. -John Muir

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4259 days

#10 posted 08-20-2012 10:52 PM

Paul; I am speechless. That is just pure magnificent piece o beauty.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Granddaddy1's profile


184 posts in 3656 days

#11 posted 08-20-2012 11:01 PM

WOW! I followed your blog from the beginning and couldn’t wait to see the finished piece. You’ve put me in my place—I am a neophyte woodworker.

Beautiful work!

-- Ron Wilson - maker of fine firewood!

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4763 days

#12 posted 08-20-2012 11:19 PM

Paul…what wonderful things could I possibly say that would not be a repeat of what everyone else says…!

Your work is incredible and your eye for detail and patience is unsurpassed.

View Schwieb's profile


1925 posts in 4916 days

#13 posted 08-20-2012 11:26 PM

Ok, Paul, I’m sometime slow in the uptake. This is a beautiful piece of work and I am so jealous, but when did you work on this one? Or is this Marie’s table, it must be. Your posts have motivated me to set up a workshop in marquetry/veneering. You are so gifted, it’s amazing. I can see the potential in this effort and seeing you execute these fine projects simply moves me more to enter this realm. I analyze the makeup of this work and I think hours and hours and hours of meticulous work. What an accomplishment. Marie would be amused.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Schwieb's profile


1925 posts in 4916 days

#14 posted 08-20-2012 11:31 PM

OK I’m embarrassed, It’s Marie’s table. What a beautiful work.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 4424 days

#15 posted 08-20-2012 11:32 PM

That really is an exceptional piece. It’s inspiring.
Thanks for posting.

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