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Project by smokey56 posted 708 days ago 1389 views 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project is a recreation of a table called the Table Des Muses. It was made by Jean-Henri Riesener and was to be delivered to Marie Antoinette in 1771. It was displayed in the Petit Trianon at Versailles; however, when I went to see it, it was gone, apparently displaced to another venue. I redrew it to the size of a queen-sized bed. Once the pattern was glued to the background, I then sawed it into 11 sections. This made cutting on the chevalet de marqueterie workable (67 cm throat). The veneers are sawn veneers from France that are 1 mm thick. I used the “Painting in Wood” method; which is gluing the pattern on the background; then define the location of specific areas that require that type of veneer and secure it there. This is done throughout the pattern. When there is overlap, another layer is built. The spaces between are filled with scrap creating a flat layer before the next layer is developed…...see “Marquetry Masterpieces” by Pierre Ramond (Vol. I, pp. 51-53). Once the pieces are all cut and laid out in their trays, the assembly begins. Shading with hot sand is done during the assembly process. The assembly is front side up and upon low tack contact paper, glued brown paper used to hold in place, turned over, mastic applied on the back side, turned back over (face up) and finally permanently glued (hyde glue) in a giant press onto 5/8 ply. The plywood was then counter veneered on the back. Out of the press, the face side was prepared, sanded, pumiced and french polished applying numerous layers. The final finish (satin) was with wax impregnated 0000 steel wool. The marquetry took some 1650 hours and is of over 5,000 pieces. The wood surround is European walnut carved by my good friend, Aaron Radelow.

Ken Stover

14 comments so far

View Pat Cavanaugh's profile

Pat Cavanaugh

130 posts in 1969 days

#1 posted 708 days ago

Simply stunning

-- Pat - Biloxi, MS

View Brice1's profile


100 posts in 947 days

#2 posted 708 days ago

Exceptional work Ken. Flawless execution and french polish job. Thanks so much for sharing.

-- Brice, Philadelphia

View MagGeorge's profile


53 posts in 756 days

#3 posted 708 days ago

It speaks of royalty and elegance.

View whitewulf's profile


438 posts in 1535 days

#4 posted 708 days ago

Holy Carp! At a loss 4 werds…......

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View shipwright's profile


4842 posts in 1396 days

#5 posted 708 days ago

Absolutely lovely Ken.
I’m just finishing up a little table right now whose central motif was also cut in Painting in Wood.
I have two chevalets and am thrilled to have another marqueteur using one on LJ’s.
Reisener was certainly one of the great masters.
Welcome and post more of your amazing work.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View Joshuah's profile


152 posts in 1291 days

#6 posted 707 days ago

Wow, that is amazing. Very beautiful.
Thanks for sharing

-- -Joshuah

View Russ's profile


356 posts in 1675 days

#7 posted 707 days ago

Remarkable work. I love the detail!

-- Russ

View TonyWard's profile


748 posts in 2926 days

#8 posted 707 days ago

I think Jean-Henri Riesener would agree this is excellent work, well done!

-- Bandsawn Box Plans available at ~

View sras's profile


3780 posts in 1727 days

#9 posted 707 days ago

1650 hours! And worth every minute I’m sure. This is a truly remarkable creation. Thanks you for sharing your work with us.

Welcome to LJs!!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View exelectrician's profile


1465 posts in 1025 days

#10 posted 707 days ago

A beautiful work of art, belongs in a museum in Florence where people from all over the world can see it first hand.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2592 posts in 2310 days

#11 posted 707 days ago


What a masterpiece! Overwhelmingly beautiful! Thanks for sharing.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View shipwright's profile


4842 posts in 1396 days

#12 posted 707 days ago

I just read your text again. Are you saying that your veneer is one centimeter thick?

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View hunter71's profile


1953 posts in 1785 days

#13 posted 706 days ago

Amazing, thanks for sharing.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Gshepherd's profile


1436 posts in 799 days

#14 posted 699 days ago

Stunned, such a beautiful piece…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

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