When a cabinet is so beautiful it makes the heart soar and the spirits lift, is it still mere furniture? Or has it become something else entirely?
The Mother-of-Pearl cover is inspired by a glorious example of 18th-century cabinetry that features inlaid panels or marquetry taken from an earlier piece, possibly one made in the East Indies in the late 17th cen tury. The term marquetry comes from the phrase “to mark a tree” and involves applying thin decorative surface veneers onto solid wood.
Here we see a rare example of mother-of-pearl inlay used to breath taking effect. Other materials employed in marquetry include wood, metal, laminate, pearl, bone and precious stones set in dark woods, pre ferably ebony. The particular style used in our example is called Tarsia a Incastro or boulle marquetry, after French cabinetmaker André-Charles Boulle (1642–1732). He was Master cabinetmaker to King Louis XIV, and his furniture and pieces made in the boulle style are found in the world’s finest collections.