Boulle marquetry doors

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Project by Patricelejeune posted 386 days ago 1997 views 8 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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 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

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.

-- Patrice lejeune

20 comments so far

View Philip's profile


1076 posts in 1135 days

#1 posted 386 days ago

Truly amazing work.

-- If you can dream it, I can do it!

View shipwright's profile


4832 posts in 1394 days

#2 posted 386 days ago

That is just beautiful work Patrice. No boats or lakes?
I’m betting you two will find that client you need and eventually the true masterpiece wil emerge.
Good luck!

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

View Vintagetoni's profile


57 posts in 1289 days

#3 posted 386 days ago

What absolutely incredible work at each & every level! Leaves me speechless. Thank you for documenting & sharing on this project….including the disappointments!

-- toni --- SW WI...working on shop setup....wish I could say diligently. "Time is a healer, a friend & a maker of dreams."

View tomd's profile


1725 posts in 2366 days

#4 posted 386 days ago

That is truly an amazing piece of work.

-- Tom D

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13203 posts in 934 days

#5 posted 386 days ago

Your work is truly beyond incredible. Stunning.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

540 posts in 908 days

#6 posted 386 days ago

Magnifique! Thanks for sharing.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Sodabowski's profile


2001 posts in 1429 days

#7 posted 385 days ago

No doubt someone will show up wanting the finished piece, be it wit reversed brass parts. It’s a real shame that the client changed his/her mind, I hope he/she paid you for the time and effort invested in what was “wasted”.

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View mmh's profile


3322 posts in 2318 days

#8 posted 385 days ago

It is so wonderful to see that such incredible design and craftsmanship is still in the marketplace!

The front doors were so magnificent in their own right that maybe you can use the side panels as front panels for future projects. I trust that the right client will be able to compensate you for your labors of love and enjoy these additional masterpieces.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View helluvawreck's profile


15382 posts in 1462 days

#9 posted 385 days ago

This is absolutely beautiful work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Julian's profile


486 posts in 1286 days

#10 posted 385 days ago

What an amazing job. You and your coworkers are truly talented. Really enjoyed viewing your work. Thanks.

-- Julian

View Sanding2day's profile


922 posts in 442 days

#11 posted 385 days ago

Fantastic work, thank you for sharing and best wishes for finding the perfect new piece for ues. Shame the initial project did not go through…

-- Dan

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

602 posts in 1666 days

#12 posted 385 days ago


-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View tinnman65's profile


1104 posts in 2010 days

#13 posted 385 days ago

Amazing work, the pictures really tell the story. I’m sure that armoire will get made eventually!

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Christophret's profile


147 posts in 597 days

#14 posted 385 days ago

I love this.
You guys are great.

-- I cut it twice and it's still too short!

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

583 posts in 2426 days

#15 posted 385 days ago

Patrice, this just goes to show the difference between professionals and the rest of us wannabees… blown away again by the mastery of your work. Awesome!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

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