Couple years ago we were hired to build a Boulle cabinet for a client in New York who wanted a murphy bed for his office.
The project started with a all Armoire, before they changed there mind and decided to go for just the door on a black cabinet.
The Armoire project had a marquetry layout inspired by the inside of an Armoire from the Louvre and the other parts were inspired by other armoire from the wallace and other collections. The elements were “photoshoped” for the front part for approval.
The blueprints made
The side panels were designed
Then every marquetry panels were carefully drawn
We started the project by cutting up all our wonderfull white oak from France that had been drying for over 10 years.
Everything was made with hand tools starting with the coves
The all top portion was assembled
Before the Armoire project went south. The client changed their mind and decided for a simpler cabinet, and we had only the marquetry panels to do.
We had also bronzes custom made no more needed
“Staples” for the corners, protecting the marquetry
They were made in lab before to be sand casted
We had a rosette we liked from a french ormolu, bronze catalog
But not the right size so we had it carved for sand casting
We stopped the bronzes at that point and focused on the marquetry panels on the chevalet
The other part that was kind of wasted were the side panels no more needed but already cut.
We used a map for cutting color coded for what should be cut first.
When all the marquetry was cut, we put the panel together on blue tape, for easy adjustment of the pieces
Then the panels were glued face down with hide glue on paper for easy handling and glued on the panels with fish glue. The best glue for metal to wood glueing.
At this point the Boulle marquetry is ready to receive engraving in order to give all the volume to the brass parts.
We hired a friend of mine, Émilie Alem, from École Boulle who graduated in engraving and who knows very well how to enhance Boulle marquetry.
Even if it was a bit disappointing for us to not be able to complete the all initial project as it will have been a masterpiece instead of simple marquetry panels, we still have the wood for the armoire, and the beauty of Boulle marquetry is that there is a counter part, and one day, one day, we will have the time and the client to complete this project, hopefully with those existing panel on the inside like on the original and a more complicated composition on the outside.