Intarsia and Marquetry Part 4

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[Illustration: Plate 40.--_Pilaster strip from the Magdalen Church, Breslau._]

In the State archives of Schleswig, in 1608, the names of Andreas Sallig, court joiner; Jochim Rosenfeldt, carver; and others are noted.

Also in 1609, with the addition of the painter Herman Uhr and Hans and Jurgen Dreyer, of Schleswig; also the carver Hans Preuszen, and Adam Wegener, the figure-cutter. In 1610 the names of Jurgen Koningh, joiner's workman, several carvers, and Herman Uhr, the painter, occur.

In 1611 Herman Uhr and Klaus Barck work in the chapel, the first for 115 days, and the second for 178 days, and in 1612 several carvers and turners work for a long time at the rate of five "schillings" a day, as well as Herman Uhr and his assistant. These records distinctly suggest that the painter Herman Uhr was the designer, since his name is the only one which appears for four years consecutively, though the long period during which he worked in 1612 may be explained by the number of paintings which cover a portion of the exterior of the pew.

[Illustration: Plate 41.--_Panel from S. Elizabeth's Church, Breslau._

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In South Germany one often meets with musical instruments which are inlaid with conventionalised floral forms. They were produced in the 17th century in considerable quantities in Wurtemburg, Bavaria, and on the Southern Shores of Lake Constance. Nor must one forget the extraordinarily elaborate ivory inlays on the stocks of arquebuses. In the Wallace collection are many examples, and attention may be drawn to a jewel box made in 1630 by Conrad Cornier, arquebus mounter, which is decorated with most elaborate scrolls, leaves, and birds of ivory and mother-of-pearl, stained green in parts. It is made of walnut, and has metal scrolls at the corners of the panel framing. The German inlays on the whole rather run to arabesques and strapwork, or naturalistic vases of flowers, with butterflies and birds; one meets occasional perspectives and even figures, but the work is generally harder and less successful than the Italian technique, with a larger and less intelligent use of scorched tints.

In the latter part of the 17th century they often made the ground of a cabinet or panelling of one wood and the mouldings which defined the panels and the carved ornaments added of another, or even of two others; the effect is not quite happy. Tortoiseshell also appears, and metal and coloured stones; the striving after what they thought to be greater artistry soon caused them to outstep more and more the proper limits of the art, and brought about decadence. The South German bride chests of the century before are decorated a good deal with inlays, Peter Flotner's designs often serving as patterns; a little green and red appear mixed with the commoner colours. The architectural forms project, and would form a tolerable design by themselves, though scarcely suitable to the object to which they are applied. In German work the cabinets are often of the most elaborate architectural design, like the facade of a palace, made of ebony, or occasionally even of ivory, and inlaid with ivory, silver, gold and enamels or precious stones.

Augsburg was the most celebrated place for such work. The joiner, the woodcarver, the lapidary, and the goldsmith all worked together on such things. In the North of Germany tarsia was principally used on chests, cabinets, seats, and smaller objects of furniture; in South Germany, where the Italian influence was stronger, it was much used in wall-panelling and the panels of doors. The little castle of Volthurn, near Brixen, built by the bishop of that town in 1580-85 and decorated by Brixener artists and joiners (now belonging to Prince Lichtenstein), shows "panelled walls with architectural features, columns, cornices, and friezes, with gabled doorways with columns and pediments, decorated with very delicate intarsias, foliage ornaments, flowers, and fruit, a work which modern Brixener joiners could with difficulty understand"; so says Von Falke. Ebony and ivory work came to Germany in the latter half of the 16th century, when Augsburg and Nuremberg soon exported their productions of this sort to all the world, and with this commercial production the use of male and female designs begins, black on white and white on black. The latter is the better and more valued. Hans Schieferstein's cabinet, now at Dresden, a work of this period, has an ingenious use of this mode of inlay. It is made of ebony or veneered with that wood, and has inlays of brown cypress and of ivory. The panel on the inside of the door is of the same design as that on the outside, but what was white becomes brown, what was brown is black, and the black becomes white.

[Illustration: Plate 42.--_Lower panel of door, 1564--Tyrolese._

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In the Musee Cluny is a wire drawing bench made in 1565 for Augustus I., Elector of Saxony, who was an amateur craftsman. The two longitudinal surfaces are covered with a double frieze of marquetry, one side representing a satirical tournament between the Papacy and Lutheranism, and the other a carousal of wild men. In front one sees the marqueteur with his tools doing his work, below which he has placed his monogram, L--D., accompanied by a cup.

In the Museum at Leipzig is a very fine cabinet, with many drawers within, elaborately inlaid with arabesques on a light ground, with a few architectural forms in ebony projecting. It is Tyrolese work of the beginning of the 17th century, and is a typical example. To the few names of German intarsiatori may be added those of Isaac Kiening, of Frissen, and Sixtus Loblein, of Landshut.

In the lower Rhine and in Holland tarsia was used for great and small chests, sideboards and doors with rich gable crownings, with good drawing of flowers, and sprigs of leaves with birds and beasts among them, the ground being generally light. The doors ordered by the Swedish Chamberlain, Axel Oxenstiern, now in the drinking-room of the King's Castle of Ulriksdal, near Stockholm, are said by Von Falke to be the finest examples extant of this kind of work, and to have been made in the 17th century by a Dutch craftsman. The best period in Holland was the second half of the 16th and the first half of the 17th century. In the work of this period the handling is broad, and the composition often a little over-full, but the many different woods which Dutch commerce made available seduced the marqueteurs into too pictorial a treatment in point of colour. Their reputation was so great that Colbert engaged two Dutch marqueteurs, Pierre Gole and Vordt, for the Gobelins at the beginning of the 17th century, and Jean Mace also learnt the craft by a long stay in Holland. Here, as well as in France and Italy, rich chairs were commonly decorated with marquetry, and in William and Mary's reign such things became the fashion in England. The design employed tulips and other flowers, foliage, birds, etc., all in gay colours; ivory and mother-of-pearl were used occasionally for salient points, such as eyes.

Examples of the use and misuse of these materials may be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum at South Kensington.

[Illustration: Plate 43.--_Top of card table in the Drawing-room, Roehampton House. Dutch, 18th Century._

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[Illustration: Plate 44.--_Panelling from Sizergh Castle, now in Victoria and Albert Museum._]

Although not much work of importance is known in England which is certainly the production of native craftsmen, a few notable examples may be called to mind, such as the room from Sizergh Castle, now at South Kensington, with inlays of holly and bog-oak, and the fine suite of furniture at Hardwick Hall, made for Bess of Hardwick by English workmen who had been to Italy for some years. Correspondence passed between her and Sir John Thynne on the subject of the craftsmen employed by both, and there seems no doubt that Longleat and Hardwick were the work of the same men. The inlays upon the long table are particularly fine, and except for a certain clumsiness almost recall the glories of the great period of Italian marquetry. The cradle of James I. (1566) is enriched with inlays.

At Gilling Castle, near Wakefield, are some panels inlaid with flowers, etc., which local tradition says were executed by some of the ladies of the family, which probably points to their having been done under their superintendence by local workmen, and small panels of rough inlay are not uncommon in chest and bedstead, overmantel and cabinet from the Jacobean period onward. S. Mary Overie, Southwark, possesses a fine parish chest decorated with a good deal of Dutch-looking inlay in conjunction with carving, and a rather unusual piece of work may be seen at Glastonbury Hall, where the treads and landings of the oak stairs are inlaid with mahogany and a light wood with stars and lozenges and a cartouche with a monogram and date 1726. The use of satin wood came into fashion towards the end of the eighteenth century, and was accompanied by a delicate inlay of other woods, which, however, scarcely went beyond the simplest ornament, since the decoration of furniture by means of painting became fashionable at nearly the same period.

[Illustration: Plate 45.--_Cabinet with falling front, in the drawing-room, Roehampton House._

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It was in France that the most wonderful achievements of the later marqueteurs were produced, which have made French furniture recognised by the public as well as by connoisseurs as an art manufacture, in conjunction with the wonderfully chiselled ormolu mountings. Mention is made of intarsia in France as early as the end of the fifteenth century, however. In the inventory of Anne of Brittanny's effects (1498) may be read "ung coffret faict de musayeque de bois et d'ivoire," and in a still earlier one of the Duke de Berry's, dated 1416, is mentioned a "grant tableau, ou est la passion de Nostre Seigneur, fait de poins de marqueterie." This is as early as the intarsias of Domenico di Nicol at Siena, and was probably of foreign manufacture. In 1576 a certain Hans Kraus was called "marqueteur du roi," but the first Frenchman known to have practised the art is Jean Mace of Blois, who was at work in Paris from 1644 or earlier to 1672 as sculptor and painter. He is said to have been the first who brought intarsia into France, under the name of "marqueterie," having been for some time in the Netherlands. His title was "menuisier et faiseur de Cabinets et tableaux en marqueterie de bois." He was lodged in the Louvre in 1644 (when Louis XIV. was six years old), "en honneur de la longue et belle pratique de son art dans les Pays Bas." His daughter married Pierre Boulle, who in 1619 was turner and joiner to the King, probably both to Louis XIII. and Henry IV. In 1621 Paul Boulle was born, and five years later Jacques. The family was settled at Charenton-le-Pont, near Paris, the principal town of the Huguenots for eighty years. Here, in 1649, Pierre Boulle was buried, the father of seven children. The earlier seventeenth century designs show picturesque landscapes or broken ruins or figures, _motifs_ which recur a century later, as in the beautiful panel signed "Follet"

in the Cabinet by Claude Charles Saunier in the Wallace collection. The colours are occasionally stained, and ebony and ivory are favourite materials. It is impossible to fix the exact time when copper and tortoiseshell came into use in France. Some of the cabinets in which they appear are certainly of the period of Louis XIII. It was probably imported either from Spain or Flanders; it became very fashionable about the middle of the seventeenth century, and ended by entirely absorbing the official orders of the Court of Louis XIV. With this work the name of Boulle is indissolubly associated. Pierre Boulle was lodged in the Louvre about 1642. In 1636 he is on the list for 400 livres annually. Jean Boulle died in the Louvre in 1680. He was the father of Andre Charles probably, who was born in November, 1642, and the nephew of Pierre. Andre Charles Boulle in 1672 succeeded to the lodging of Jean Mace in the same building, and seven years later by a second brevet to the "demilogement," formerly occupied by Guillaume Petit "to allow him to finish the works executed for His Majesty's service." It is told of him by a contemporary that the talented boy wanted to be a painter, but his father would not allow it, and insisted upon his keeping to handicraft. He was a man of most varied talent; when he was first granted apartments in the Louvre it was as "joiner, marqueteur, gilder, and chiseller," and in the decree of Louis XIV., by which he was appointed the first art-joiner to the King, he is called "architect, sculptor, and engraver." He had a passion for collecting drawings, paintings, and other works of art, and when his workshops were burnt his collection was valued at 60,000 livres. This taste brought him into money difficulties, and in 1704 his creditors obtained a decree against him, and he would have been imprisoned if the King had not extended the safeguard of the Palace of the Louvre to him on condition that he made an arrangement with them. He was a member of the Academy of S. Luke as sculptor and brass engraver. The Cabinet of the Dauphin was considered his masterpiece, in which the walls and ceiling were covered with mirrors in ebony frames, with inlays of rich gilding, and the floor laid with wood mosaic, in which the initials of the Dauphin and his wife were intertwined. The drawing made for it is now in the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, but the work itself no longer exists. On August 30th, 1720, his works were burnt, it was thought by a thief whom the workmen of Marteau, his neighbour at the Louvre, had surprised some months before and punished summarily, who, by way of vengeance on the "menuisiers,"

set fire to the "ebenistes." Nearly everything he possessed was either burnt, lost, or stolen; models of the value of 37,000 livres, wood and tools worth 25,000, many pieces of furniture finished or in course of construction; works in metal, as well as in wood, and his whole collection of drawings, paintings, and objects of art. His total loss was estimated by experts at 383,780 livres, more than 1,000,000 of francs in the money of to-day, from which an income of 50,000 francs might be expected. This valuation was on an inventory drawn up shortly after, perhaps for the purpose of getting the King's help. The number of undeniable productions of his hand is small, but objects which came from the studio after his death are tolerably plentiful since his four sons carried on the business, though not the inspiration; contemporaries characterised them as "apes." Two commodes which were in Louis XVI.'s bedroom at Versailles are now in the Bibliotheque Mazarin, and a chest which was forgotten in the Custom House at Havre now belongs to the museum of that city. A cabinet is in the Mobilier National, and a pedestal is in the Grunes Gewolbe at Dresden. Other genuine Boulles are in the Wallace collection, in the Rothschild collection, and at the Hotel Cluny. A writing table, for which the millionaire Samuel Bernard (who died in 1739), a great collector of art treasures, had given 50,000 livres, appears to be lost. M. Luchet asks, with some truth, "Can you imagine a financier, Jew or Christian, paying 100,000 francs for a new bureau? Old, it would be another thing--an object of art to sell."

Boulle was most careful over his materials. He had 12,000 livres worth of wood in his stores, fir, oak, walnut, battens, Norwegian wood, all collected and kept long and carefully for the benefit of the work. He also used real tortoiseshell, which, is replaced in the economical art industry of the day with gelatine. The mountings were always chiselled, cast quite roughly, so that the artist did nearly everything. He was helped in this part of the work by Domenico Cucci and others. The inlay, instead of being tortoiseshell, may have been horn, mother-of-pearl, ivory, or wood; the motive, instead of brass, may be pewter, silver, aluminium, or gold; it is still known by the name of Boulle work. Boulle himself worked intarsia of wood also at intervals all through his life.

He died February 29th, 1732.

[Illustration: Plate 46.--_Cabinet belonging to Earl Granville. Boulle work of about 1740._

_To face page 96._] [Illustration: Plate 47.--_Top of writing table in the Saloon, Roehampton House. Period of Louis XV._]

[Illustration: Plate 48.--_Encoignure, signed J. F. Oeben, in the Jones bequest, Victoria and Albert Museum._

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His pupil, J. F. Oeben, became "ebeniste du roi," with a lodging in the _dependances_ of the Arsenal in 1754. He was marqueteur especially.

Examples of his work are both at South Kensington and in the Wallace collection, and in the Gallerie d'Apollon at the Louvre is the great secretary bureau, which he was making for Louis XV. at the time of his death, in or about 1765. His widow carried on the establishment; her foreman, J. Henry Riesener, completed the unfinished work. He was also a German, born in 1735 at Gladbach, near Cologne, and coming to Paris quite young entered Oeben's atelier. On his death he was made foreman, and two years after, when he was thirty-two years of age, married his master's widow. The year following 1768 he was received as master _menuisier ebeniste_. In 1776 his wife died, and six years after he married again, but was divorced as soon as the new legislation allowed it. When he was married the first time he had no fortune, but fifteen years after he declared in his marriage contract that there was then owing to him by the King, the royal family, and other debtors 504,571 livres, without counting the finished objects in his warehouses, his models of bronze, his jewels, and personal effects, and several important life annuities. Between 1775 and 1785 he received from the Garde Meuble 500,000 livres, so profitable had the production of furniture of the highest class become. He was in full work at the time of the Revolution, and two of his finest pieces bear the dates 1790 and 1791 in their marquetry. When the furniture of the royal residences was sold, Riesener bought back several pieces, being aided by Charles Delacroix, the husband of his first wife's daughter, who directed the sale at Versailles. He tried to sell these again, but with poor success, and when he died, on January 8th, 1806, at the age of 71, he was again almost without fortune. His beautiful bureau secretary in the Wallace collection, made for Stanislas Leczinski, King of Poland, and dated 1769, shows him at his best. The workmanship is superb, and the design most pleasing, almost the only point to which exception may be taken being the crude green, obtained by staining, here and there. The half-length of Secrecy in the oval cartouche at the back is as good as the best Italian figure work, and was often reproduced by him. The flower panels are particularly delicate and beautiful. There is an upright secretary, also by him, in the same collection almost equally delicate and beautiful in its marquetry decorations. The diaper patterns so characteristic of this period are most beautifully executed, but are not very interesting, and the mountings take the interest rather from the marquetry, becoming more and more delicately designed and elaborately worked. The principal woods used by Riesener were tulip and rose wood, holly, maple, laburnum, purple wood, and sometimes snake wood. His contemporary, David Roentgen, used principally pear, lime, and light-coloured woods, burnt for the shades.

[Illustration: Plate 49.--_Panel from back of Riesener's bureau, made for Stanislas Leczinski, with figure of Secrecy._

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[Illustration: Plate 50.--_Roundel from bureau, made for Stanislas Leczinski, King of Poland, now in the Wallace Collection._

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Paris has endured a regular invasion of German craftsmen from the middle of the eighteenth century, and the Faubourg S. Antoine still has a number of German-born joiners among its workmen. Among the most celebrated of them was David Roentgen, born either at Neuwied or Herrenhagen in 1743. In 1772 he succeeded his father, Abraham Roentgen, in his business at Neuwied am Rhein, which he had founded in 1753, and from which he retired into the house of the Moravian brethren, where he lived for twenty years longer. The engraver Wille relates that he came to his house in Paris in 1774 with letters of recommendation, and that he put him in touch with designers and sculptors. When Marie Antoinette became Queen he was appointed "ebeniste mechanicien" to the Queen. He was in such good odour with her as to be charged on several occasions to carry presents to her mother and sisters. Her favour excited the jealousy of the other joiners, and they contested his right to sell foreign-made furniture. He got out of this difficulty by being admitted a member of their corporation on May 24th, 1780. He was so entirely master of his craft, and increased its resources so much by using exotic woods, that contemporary opinion thought it difficult to imagine greater success in the particular direction in which he worked. In 1779 he showed a table of marquetry, made in a new fashion, which he described as a mosaic, "in which the shades are neither burnt, nor engraved, nor darkened with smoke, as one has been obliged to express them until now,"

a return in fact to the earlier Italian method. His designs were many of them made by Johann Zick of Coblenz, others by Jean Baptiste Le Prince, chinoiseries, and shepherd games. Under him the later German marqueterie reached its highest point. His works went all over Europe, from St.

Petersburg to Paris, and replicas were ordered by those who were obliged to forego the originals. He sold to Catherine of Russia a series of articles of furniture for 20,000 roubles, and the Empress added a present of 5000 roubles and a gold snuff-box. The King of Prussia was his constant protector, and in February, 1792, gave him the title of Secret Councillor, and in November of the same year named him Royal Agent on the Lower Rhine. The Revolution ruined him, and he was obliged in 1796 to close his factory. He abandoned France at this period, and the Government, considering him as an "Emigre," seized all his effects in 1793, including the furniture made at Neuwied, then in his stores. He died at Wiesbaden in 1807. With him these incomplete historical notes may terminate. Many of the names mentioned are but names, while in many cases names and works cannot be connected, for the carver and intarsiatori were often, like other craftsmen, content to do the work without caring about the reputation of doing it; but the cases in which facts of the lives or work of these men have been preserved are so much the more interesting from their rarity, and certainly do not show them to any disadvantage compared with other artists, or those among whom their lives were passed.


The early mode of working intarsia in Italy, where it is more than 100 years more ancient than in any other country, was by sinking forms in the wood, according to a prearranged design, and then filling the hollows with pieces of different coloured woods. At first the number of colours used was very small--indeed, Vasari says that the only tints employed were black and white, but this must be interpreted freely, since the colour of wood is not generally uniform, and there would consequently often be a difference in tint in portions cut from different parts of the same plank. A cypress chest of 1350, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, shows another mode of decoration standing between tarsia proper and the mediaeval German and French fashion of sinking the ground round the ornament and colouring it. In this example the design is incised, the ground cleared out to a slight depth, and the internal lines of the drawing and the background spaces filled in with a black mastic, the result much resembling niello. If dark wood be substituted for the mastic background we have almost the effect of the stalls of the chapel of the Palazzo Pubblico at Siena, which, though an early work of Domenico di Nicol, are well considered in design, well executed, and quite satisfactory in point of harmony between material and design.

[Illustration: Plate 51.--_Antonio Barili at work, by himself._

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At the commencement of the Renaissance the fancy of the intarsiatori overflowed in the most graceful arabesques, which are perfectly suited to the material and are often executed with absolute perfection, and these may perhaps be held to be the most entirely satisfactory of their works, though not the most marvellous. The ambition of the craftsman led him to emulate the achievements of the painter, and we find, after the invention of perspective drawing, views of streets and other architectural subjects, which are not always very successful, and the representation of cupboards, the doors of which are partly open, showing objects of different kinds on the shelves, which are often rendered with the most extraordinary realism, when the means adopted are considered.[3] This realism was much assisted by Fra Giovanni da Verona's discovery of acid solutions and stains for treating the wood, so as to get more variety of colour, and by the practice of scorching portions of the pieces of which the subject was composed, thus suggesting roundness by means of shading. It was a common practice to increase the decorative effect by means of gilding and paint, thus obtaining a brilliancy of colour at the expense of unity of effect sometimes, one may think, if one may judge from the panels in the stalls at the Certosa of Pavia--though perhaps it is scarcely fair to take them as examples of the effect of the older work since they have been restored in modern times. At the best period it was used almost entirely for church furniture and the furnishings of public edifices, in Italy at least, and many of the ranges of stalls still occupy their original positions.

[Illustration: Plate 52.--_Panel from the Victoria and Albert Museum._

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The principal woods used in the work of the best period were pear, walnut, and maple, though pine and cypress also appear. Ebony was imitated with a tincture of gall apples, green was obtained with verdigris, and red with cochineal. Sublimate of mercury, arsenical acid, and sulphuric acid were also used to affect the colour of the wood. This treatment lessened its lasting power, and often caused its decay through the attacks of worms. The scorching was done with molten lead, or in very dark places with a soldering-iron. It is now done with hot sand.

The following technical description is taken from a German book of 1669--"Wood-workers paint with quite thin little bits of wood, which are coloured in different ways, and the same are put together after the form of the design in hollowed-out panels, fastened with glue and polished with an iron on the surface so that they may become quite smooth. They paint at the present time in this manner tables and jewel chests or trays, and all in the highest artistic manner. Also separate pictures are put together, which copy the works of the most celebrated masters. First, they take small, very thin pieces of pear or lime dyed through with different colour-stuffs, which are prepared by certain processes, so that the wood is the same colour within and without. Then they give them their several shapes as the kind of picture requires, cutting them according to the size and shape, and stick them with glue on the board. In the place of wood they sometimes use bone, horn, and tortoiseshell cut into fine strips, also ivory and silver. The whole work is called by the Germans 'Einlegen' or 'Furnieren,' because although each piece is separate from the others no part is taken out from the surface in which such figures are inlaid, but the whole is covered." With the use of the fret-saw for cutting the patterns, and the consequent discovery of the possibility of counterchanging the ground and the design (that which was black becoming white, and _vice versa_), called male and female forms, the manufacture of tarsia, or marquetry rather, commenced to take a more commercial aspect, the cost being considerably reduced by the making of several copies by one sawing. This is the process used at the present day.

The durability of inlaid work depends upon the tightness and completeness with which the inlaid parts are fitted together or mortised into the main body or bed of the wood, and also on the level grounding out of the matrix. In Spanish and Portuguese work ivory or ebony pins or pegs were used also. Marquetry is a form of veneering, and the operation is thus conducted:--The under surface of the veneer and the upper surface of the bed are both carefully levelled and toothed over so as to get a clean, newly-worked surface; the ground is then well wetted with glue, at a high temperature, and the two surfaces pressed tightly together so as to squeeze as much out as possible. The parts are screwed down on heated metal beds, or between wooden frames, made so as to exactly fit the surfaces in every part, called "cauls," until the glue is hard. In cutting the patterns of Boulle work two or three slices of material, such as brass and tortoiseshell or ebony, are glued together with paper between, so that they may be easily separated when the cutting is done. Another piece of paper is glued outside, upon which the pattern is indicated. A fine watch spring saw is then introduced through a hole in an unimportant part of the design, and the patterns sawn out as in ordinary fretwork. The slices are then separated, and that cut out of one slice is fitted into the others so that one cutting produces several repetitions of the design with variations in ground and pattern. When there are only two slices of material the technical term for them is Boulle and Counter. When the various parts have been arranged in their places, face downwards, paper is glued over them to keep the whole in place, and filings of the material rubbed in to fill up any interstices. The whole is then toothed over and laid down in the same manner as ordinary veneer, the ground being first rubbed over with garlic, or some acid, to remove any traces of grease. Marquetry of wood is made in the same way, but more thicknesses of wood are put together to be sawn through, as many as four not being an unusual number, while for common work even eight may be sawn at one time, and the various sheets are pinned together only with a stiff backing of common veneer of good thickness to steady the work. Dye woods are used as far as possible, and holly stained to the required colour serves for greens and blues and a few other tints. Pearl is always cut in one thickness, and is glued down on a backing of wood at least 1/8-inch thick.

Another mode of cutting the design approximates more nearly to the ancient practice. The whole design is drawn on paper attached to the ground, or counter, and cut out entirely. The various portions of inlay are then cut from different veneers of the desired colour and fitted into their places. Another method is to paste the paper with the whole design on the ground, and on it to paste the various ornaments cut from suitable veneers, then to cut through the ground, the saw grazing the edges of the ornamental forms. The parts so cut out are then pushed through the ornaments, separated from the paper, and laid down in the vacant places. A variation on this method is to cut out the forms to be inlaid in different veneers, and glue them in their proper positions on a sheet of paper. A sheet of white paper is pasted on the veneer, which is to serve as the ground. A sheet of blackened paper is laid over it, and over this the sheet with the forms to be inlaid, which are then struck with a light mallet, so as to print an impression of their edges upon the paper. The printed shapes are then cut out one at a time, care being taken to make the saw exactly follow the outline. The object of all these processes is, of course, to ensure the ground and the inlaid forms exactly fitting. After cleaning the surface from paper and glue it is smoothed with plane and scraper, and the markings on leaves or other figures made by a graver, if not already made by saw cuts, and they and the lines between the male and female forms are filled with shellac or wood-dust and glue.

In Germany the veneers used are one to two millimetres thick, _i.e._, one-twenty-fifth or two-twenty-fifths of an inch. The principal woods used are walnut, pear, ash, bird maple, holly, olive, amboyna, rose wood, violet wood, thuya, and palisander, which name is also used on the Continent for rose wood and violet, though it is really a sort of cedar.

Tortoiseshell, ivory, and metal plates are also used, principally of pewter, brass, and zinc. Seeman's Kunstgewerbliche Handbucher advise thus:--"When ivory or hard precious metals are used it is better to divide the design into smaller parts. To avoid damage to the effect by time and change of colour in the woods such combinations as the following are to be preferred:--Mahogany and black walnut, pear and black walnut, Hungarian ash and black thuya, pear and palisander, brass and black, etc. For fine, small ornament smooth, even-textured woods should be used such as pear, mahogany, maple, or holly; for broad patches and backgrounds, which are not required to be dark, you should use patterned or streaked woods, like bird maple, amboyna, thuya, or olive. Ivory, mother-of-pearl, and metals in large pieces look hard and loud, so it is better to use them in quite small pieces. If engraved, larger pieces may be employed and used for inscription tablets, coats of arms, and cartouches, or for bits of figures, birds, and butterflies.

Shading may be done in various ways. Lines may be engraved and filled up with a glue cement, or hatchings may be drawn with a scorching solution, or the wood may be burnt with hot sand. The sand is made hot in an iron pot, and the piece to be darkened inserted. Or it may be scorched with a hot iron or spirit or gas flame. The simplest way is with the poker used in poker work." In England the sand is heaped upon a metal plate which is heated underneath. The veneer is held with tweezers and pushed into the sand, the gradation of heat giving gradation of tone. The hot sand shrinks the wood, and allowance must be made for this.

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