Definition of marquetry in US English:


(also marqueterie, marquetery)


  • Inlaid work made from small pieces of variously colored wood or other materials, used chiefly for the decoration of furniture.

    as modifier ‘a restored marquetry table top’
    • ‘Another piece of furniture that made its appearance in France during the eighteenth century was the bidet, which also became an elaborate confection with fine ornate marquetry decoration, worthy of the finest craftsmen.’
    • ‘Still other models featured marquetry, a decorative technique at the height of its popularity in the 1830s.’
    • ‘Sicilian marquetry furniture is immediately recognizable by the rosettes with eight petals, similar to the quatrefoil of Genoa and the star of Naples.’
    • ‘The first lot is an amaranth and marquetry box whose top is inlaid with a map of the British Isles.’
    • ‘Jenny admires the intricate marquetry on the arm of the teak day-bed, which forms a horse's head.’
    • ‘This luxurious piece of furniture is rectilinear, with sharply defined planes delineated by vertical and horizontal bands of ornamental marquetry.’
    • ‘The rooms are filled with magnificent writing tables with trompe l' oeil marquetry, cabinets, carpets, tapestries, porcelain and gold and silver wear.’
    • ‘Most antique furniture can suffer as a result of extremes in temperature, especially painted and lacquered examples and those inlaid with marquetry, brass or ivory decoration.’
    • ‘Many incorporate marquetry or intricate laminations of exotic woods with decorative details fashioned from salvaged objects like buttons, toys, sheet metal, linoleum or other found materials.’
    • ‘There is an office panelled with marquetry more reminiscent of tsarist palaces than passenger planes.’
    • ‘The vogue for marquetry on furniture originated in post-Renaissance Italy and reached its apogee in mid-eighteenth-century France.’
    • ‘The marquetry tops contain an evocative song sheet of the period and the doors open to reveal drawers.’
    • ‘The high cost of the exotic woods often used for the veneers and pictorial marquetry decoration meant that these materials had to be used sparingly.’
    • ‘For centuries this method was used only for marquetry and furniture.’
    • ‘In mid-eighteenth-century Sicily, the French style still predominated, and with it, a taste for veneer, refined marquetry with expensive woods, and gilt-bronze mounts.’
    • ‘Although he did not invent the technique of lavishly veneering furniture with marquetry of exotic tortoiseshell, pewter and brass and variously coloured woods which is named after him, he was, without doubt, its greatest exponent.’
    • ‘In addition to elaborate marquetry panels and inset porcelain plaques, much of this furniture was accented with bronze mounts.’
    • ‘In style, portable furniture imitated stationary pieces but often lacked omamentation such as marquetry, inlays, or elaborate mounts.’
    • ‘With its ebullience of baroque form and boldly patterned marquetry made of exotic woods, mother-of-pearl and ivory, the stand includes the delightful illusion that an embroidered cloth has been flung across the top.’
    • ‘There are some trademark pieces - elegant-legged tables and high-quality marquetry - mixed in with contemporary designer furniture, antique shop finds and some very in-your-face art.’
    inset, set, enchased, ornamented, decorated, studded, lined, panelled, tiled
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Mid 16th century: from French marqueterie, from marqueter ‘to variegate’.