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What's the difference between marquetry and parquetry?

February 14, 2019

What's the difference between marquetry and parquetry? - English Georgian America

While both marquetry and parquetry can beautifully decorate fine furniture, to better understand the differences, let's quickly review.

Marquetry: "marquetry" is inlays of different color woods (or other material) and it typically depicts some form of flowers or objects, imagery or scenery, and can be small patterns or motifs. Some typical examples are inlaid eagles on fine American furniture, graduated bell flowers down the legs of a fine English table, or floral garlands across the side of a tables frieze. 
Here is a wonderful example from our own offering: Chippendale Inlaid Chest of Drawers

Parquetry: "parquetry" is similar in that it is inlays of varying colors of wood, however, parquetry is typically geometric designs or patterns. Commonly seen today on flooring, parquet floor resemble the delicate inlays of 18th and 19th-century French furniture.
Another wonderful example showing detailed parquetry inlays: Louis XV Oval Marquetry Side Table