Know Everything About Things You should Know about Inlay Decoration
the earliest ways of decorating the woods. This carving was done
almost in all types of woods. It gave a new looks and a generated a
new interest for furniture.
And then you have inlay type of decoration, an alternative of carving.
At the same
time as carving came into use, there was introduced an alternative
type of decoration: inlay. This took many different forms over the
years, varying from simple straight lines in wood
of contrasting colour to the ground (called 'stringing'), to the
elaboration of marquetry in which the inlay often covers a greater
proportion of the surface than the ground.
was in great demand shortly before 1700, when the form known as 'seaweed
marquetry*, so complicated in pattern that the walnut ground
could scarcely be seen at all, came into prominence. This fashion did
not last for long after the start of the new century, but there was a
revival of it in a weak: manner in about 1860. Many different woods
were used in marquetry; some were dyed in bright colors and others
darkened by scorching to enhance the effect. Pieces of bone,
tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl were also used sometimes.
inlay on walnut furniture is known as 'herringbone', and consists of
a band of two narrow strips of the same wood placed together with
their grain meeting diagonally. The effect accounts for the name,
which is alternatively 'feather-banding'. A further type of inlay is
known as 'cross-banding'.
It consists of a band of inlaid wood, often to be found at the edges
of a table-top, in which the grain of the wood runs outwards.
a narrow strip of brass was done occasionally in the eighteenth
century, but mostly in Regency times when more ambitious shapes, such
as stars, were attempted also. It was very popular, and is looked on
now as a feature of the period.
varied in shape with each period, and their study will help to
identify the date of a piece of heirloom
furniture. The narrow half-round molding found on the edges of
many eighteenth-century drawers is known as cock beading'.
practiced in the Far East for many centuries before it was introduced
into Europe. Chinese and Japanese craftsmen decorated furniture by
painting it carefully with many coatings of the sap of a locally
grown tree, then after it had been well smoothed it was painted with
designs in gold and colors. Some of this work was brought to England
at the end of the seventeenth century, and became popular enough to
be imitated as closely as possible by both professional and amateur
artists, and much furniture made in England in the early 1700's was
ornamented with this pseudo-oriental lacquer. In addition, pieces of
English furniture were sent out to the East to be embellished in the
authentic manner by local craftsmen, and quantities of cabinets and
furnishings of Far Eastern manufacture were sent to all
countries of Europe.
In addition to
the lacquer just described, in which the smoothed surface was painted
upon, often with small areas raised to emphasize details of the
pattern, there was another type in which the designs were cut and
then colored. The finished article showed a smooth black panel into
which were incised colored designs about one eighth of an inch deep.
This was called 'Bantam' or 'Coromahdel lacquer, and was made often
in the form of large folding screens. Some of them were of as many as
twelve leaves, each about two feet wide and eight feet high.
Occasionally, on arrival in Europe they were cut up regardless of
their pattern to make cabinets or other pieces of heirloom
We have seen
the various types of decorations that a wood can be give. The
carving, inlay, moldings, and lacquer are the most common forms of wood
decoration. These forms of woods decorations generated a lot of
interest among the English in the eighteenth century. And many
imitations of these kinds were produced to meet the demands.