French inlay' data-content='Decorative patterns inserted into the main body of a piece of furniture, generally in wood of contrasting colour and grain, though brass, ivory, ebony, shell and sometimes horn have been used. Inlay may consist of a panel of well figured timber inset into a cabinet door front, geometric patterns, or complex and stylized designs of flowers, swags of foliage, fruits and other motifs. As a general rule, in pieces where the carcase is constructed in the solid, the inlay is relatively simple such as stringing, cross banding and herringbone banding. Where more elaborate and decorative work was required veneer was used. Inlay has been fashionable from at least the latter half of the 17th century, when a variety of elaborate forms were developed'>inlay using brass and sometimes silver, found on furniture and smaller wooden objects. It originated in Italy but was developed by Frenchman Andre Charles Boulle (1642 - 1732) under Louis XIV.<br><br>Boulle was appointed Royal Cainet Maker to Louis XIV and designed furniture and clockcases for the monarch.<br><br>In preparation, the tortoiseshell and metal were cut together following a design, using a fine fret saw.<br><br>In the application of the Boulle, the carcase of piece of furniture was covered with the tortoiseshell which in turn was inlaid with the matched designs in metal, which in turn was elaborately engraved.<br><br>The use of Boulle work furniture continued mainly in France until the 19th century.'>Boulle inlaid pier cabinet with brass inlay frieze, glazed door flanked by ormolucorbels are often carved with acanthus or other scrolling decoration.'>corbels.
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