Box House Antiques

Some useful interesting observations on late 17th century marquetry inlay

Some useful interesting observations on late 17th century marquetry inlay:

A pattern composed of oval and shaped reserves on a burr walnut ground filled with small-scale intricate scrollwork is often described as ‘Marquetrie a L’Anglaise’. This ‘arabesque’ marquetry is generally ascribed to the talented Royal cabinet-maker Gerrit Jensen (see Adam Bowett, ‘English Furniture 1660- 1714’.) Vis also ‘From Charles ll to Queen Anne’, Woodbridge, 2002, figs. 7:9-12, 7:20-21, 7:35, 7:39-40 and 7:48-49.

At this time, during the reign of William and Mary, this costly and delicate marquetry inlay became highly fashionable amongst English Royalty and the wealthy nobility. It was produced by a few select émigré cabinet-makers who worked with marquetry in London, including the famous Jan van Mekeren, ca 1683.

Cabinet, Jan van Mekeren (attributed to), c. 1695 – c …

Small 17th century burr walnut marquetry bureau on stand

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Gerrit Jensen, a superb exponent of ‘arabesque marquetrie’, (active 1680-d.1715) was of Dutch or Flemish origin. He was known to be working in London from premises in St. Martin’s Lane by 1680, where he was known as a pre-eminent ‘Cabbinet maker and Glasse seller’. He was the only cabinet-maker working in England during this period known to have used metal inlays and elaborate ‘seaweed’ or ‘arabesque’ marquetry. His furniture reflects the fashionable French court styles of Pierre Golle, André Charles Boulle and Daniel Marot. The furniture was probably made for King William III and Queen Mary, by Jensen, who was appointed Royal cabinetmaker in 1689. Possibly first identified in Jensen’s invoice for the period of Michaelmas 1694 to Lady-Day 1695, which he supplied for William III’s service at Kensington Palace; ‘a fine writeing desk table inlaid wth metall 70 pound.’