Boulle marquetry doors

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Project by Patricelejeune posted 07-02-2013 02:15 AM 8468 views 11 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Couple years ago we were hired to build a Boulle cabinet for a client in New York who wanted a murphy bed for his office.

The project started with a all Armoire, before they changed there mind and decided to go for just the door on a black cabinet.

The Armoire project had a marquetry layout inspired by the inside of an Armoire from the Louvre and the other parts were inspired by other armoire from the wallace and other collections. The elements were “photoshoped” for the front part for approval.

The blueprints made

The side panels were designed

Then every marquetry panels were carefully drawn

We started the project by cutting up all our wonderfull white oak from France that had been drying for over 10 years.

Everything was made with hand tools starting with the coves




The all top portion was assembled

Before the Armoire project went south and we had only the marquetry panels to do.

We had also bronzes custom made no more needed
“Staples” for the corners, protecting the marquetry

They were made in lab before to be sand casted

We had a rosette we liked from a french ormolu, bronze catalog

But not the right size so we had it carved for sand casting

We stopped the bronzes at that point and focused on the marquetry panels

The other part that was kind of wasted were the side panels no more needed but already cut.

We used a map for cutting color coded for what should be cut first.

When all the marquetry was cut, we put the panel together on blue tape, for easy adjustment of the pieces

Then the panels were glued face down with hide glue on paper for easy handling and glued on the panels with fish glue. The best glue for metal to wood glueing.

At this point the Boulle marquetry is ready to receive engraving in order to give all the volume to the brass parts.

We hired a friend of mine, Émilie Alem, from École Boulle who graduated in engraving and who knows very well how to enhance Boulle marquetry.

Even if it was a bit disappointing for us to not be able to complete the all initial project as it will have been a masterpiece instead of simple marquetry panels, we still have the wood for the armoire, and the beauty of Boulle marquetry is that there is a counter part, and one day, one day, we will have the time and the client to complete this project, hopefully with those existing panel on the inside like on the original and a more complicated composition on the outside.

-- Patrice lejeune

21 comments so far

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3819 days

#1 posted 07-02-2013 02:31 AM

Truly amazing work.

-- I never finish anyth

View shipwright's profile


8760 posts in 4078 days

#2 posted 07-02-2013 02:31 AM

That is just beautiful work Patrice. No boats or lakes?
I’m betting you two will find that client you need and eventually the true masterpiece wil emerge.
Good luck!

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

View Vintagetoni's profile


58 posts in 3973 days

#3 posted 07-02-2013 02:45 AM

What absolutely incredible work at each & every level! Leaves me speechless. Thank you for documenting & sharing on this project….including the disappointments!

-- toni --- SW WI...working on shop setup....wish I could say diligently. "Time is a healer, a friend & a maker of dreams."

View tomd's profile


2222 posts in 5050 days

#4 posted 07-02-2013 04:00 AM

That is truly an amazing piece of work.

-- Tom D

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30651 posts in 3618 days

#5 posted 07-02-2013 05:13 AM

Your work is truly beyond incredible. Stunning.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1133 posts in 3592 days

#6 posted 07-02-2013 08:32 AM

Magnifique! Thanks for sharing.

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

View Sodabowski's profile


2401 posts in 4113 days

#7 posted 07-02-2013 09:20 AM

No doubt someone will show up wanting the finished piece, be it wit reversed brass parts. It’s a real shame that the client changed his/her mind, I hope he/she paid you for the time and effort invested in what was “wasted”.

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View mmh's profile


3697 posts in 5002 days

#8 posted 07-02-2013 12:35 PM

It is so wonderful to see that such incredible design and craftsmanship is still in the marketplace!

The front doors were so magnificent in their own right that maybe you can use the side panels as front panels for future projects. I trust that the right client will be able to compensate you for your labors of love and enjoy these additional masterpieces.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4146 days

#9 posted 07-02-2013 01:49 PM

This is absolutely beautiful work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Julian's profile


1667 posts in 3970 days

#10 posted 07-02-2013 02:29 PM

What an amazing job. You and your coworkers are truly talented. Really enjoyed viewing your work. Thanks.

-- Julian

View Sanding2day's profile


1018 posts in 3126 days

#11 posted 07-02-2013 03:21 PM

Fantastic work, thank you for sharing and best wishes for finding the perfect new piece for ues. Shame the initial project did not go through…

-- Dan

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 4350 days

#12 posted 07-02-2013 08:21 PM


-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View tinnman65's profile


1417 posts in 4694 days

#13 posted 07-02-2013 09:54 PM

Amazing work, the pictures really tell the story. I’m sure that armoire will get made eventually!

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

View Christophret's profile


150 posts in 3281 days

#14 posted 07-03-2013 12:44 AM

I love this.
You guys are great.

-- I cut it twice and it's still too short!

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 5110 days

#15 posted 07-03-2013 04:06 AM

Patrice, this just goes to show the difference between professionals and the rest of us wannabees… blown away again by the mastery of your work. Awesome!

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

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