Making the King’s Furniture
When most of us see an exquisite piece of 17th century royal furniture in a museum, we marvel at the beauty of the work and wonder exactly how all that precision marquetry was put together. When Aaron Radelow sees one, he finds himself staring straight at a challenge.
That was the case when he came across a table on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum several years ago. The table, one of a pair produced for French King Louis XIV in the 1670s, serves as an exquisite example of Boulle, a marquetry technique scarcely practiced these days. Boulle combines fine materials like ivory, horn, and tortoise shell to produce highly decorative inlays that often boggle the mind with their intricacy and brilliance.
Radelow spent six years producing a matching set of tables built entirely to the French monarch’s specifications, and if you’d like them for your living room, you’re welcome to bring them home…for a cool $1 million.
More on Boulle Marquetry:
Boulle Marquetry Basics
Marquetry master Silas Kopf takes you through the process in this Fine Woodworking video.
Boulle Marquetry: Two Panels for the Price of One
How to choose a design, cut out the parts, create the panels, and finish them.
Marquetry Step by Step
Double-bevel cutting makes the process easy and accurate.