Dutch Marquetry furniture embodies the very best of antique European design objects. With some of the most intricate and awe-inspiring wood designs in 18th and 19th-century furniture making, Dutch artisans set the standard for Northern European design. Now you can bring their artful crafts into your modern home.
In today’s blog, we will explore the most exciting Dutch marquetry furniture in our catalog. But not before explaining just what defines the type and period of these pieces, so you can identify their quality for yourself.
If you are looking for inspiration of a different kind, read through our piece on designing the perfect rustic living room – without relying on outdated aesthetics.
What is Dutch Marquetry Furniture?
The art of marquetry, which involves intricate designs on the surface of wood furniture, was developed in the Netherlands in the 17th century. Dutch artists hoped to capture more nuanced scenes and motifs using shards of a lighter or darker wood than the rest of the veneer. The process resembles mosaic-making in some ways. Just as mosaics revolutionized the classical approach to art, marquetry changed the game for top-tier furniture makers around Europe.
Indeed, the most sought-after cabinetmakers and wood artisans became those who could craft the most impressive marquetry. Look no further than Giuseppe Maggiolini, whose Milanese masterpieces we covered in a recent blog, to see the impact of Dutch marquetry on the rest of Europe.
The art of marquetry peaked in the mid-to-late 18th century, coinciding with the Baroque tastes of the courts. Indeed, almost all the pieces featuring detailed marquetry in the Styylish catalog are from the late 18th century. We turn to them now, to let you see for yourself what makes them so special.
Straight from Styylish: Pieces in Our Collection
We begin our journey through the catalog with two featured pieces. A unique display cabinet and a breathtaking game table showcase just how wonderful Dutch marquetry can be.
Featured Piece: Show-Stopping Display Cabinet
This Display Cabinet from Holland is one of the more astonishing pieces in the Styylish collection. A smooth, dark mahogany veneer is filled with detailed marquetry in yew wood. Images of birds and flowers burst from the solid wood with delicate elegance.
Start by considering the base of this piece. Four sinuous legs on ball feet romantically grow into the body of the cabinet with elegant curves. The legs themselves feature single strands of flowers: we find tulips and daffodils expanding upwards.
The tromp l’oeil of all Dutch marquetry furniture is that the marquetry does not leave a physical trace as a carving would. The entire surface is smooth and polished: the effect of size and dimensionality derives simply from expert combination of different shades of wood.
The main body of the cabinet is breathtaking even without the marquetry. The beautifully angled glass panes make this piece perfect for displaying your favorite treasures – and remember, they don’t have to be antique to look good inside an antique.
But the marquetry is, of course, the very best part. Take in the splendor of those birds, perched elegantly on strands of intertwined flowers. Nowhere else would you find an homage to the beauty of such compelling nature.
We admire Dutch marquetry furniture mainly because it avoids some of the more lavish elements of Rococo style, (say, ormolu gold features) while creating the same romantic decorative splendor.
Featured Piece: Magnificent Dutch Game Table
For a distinctly different but perhaps even more impressive exemplar of the period, check out this Dutch Game Table. Full of dedicated game surfaces, hidden compartments, and mechanisms, as well as absolutely stunning marquetry, it’s one of the most exclusive finds in our collection.
A solid mahogany base allows the many features of the table to shine. Its triple-fold top turns out to reveal chess and checkerboards, card tables, compartments for game pieces, and stunning marquetry throughout.
Completely folded up, this showstopping addition to any furniture collection reveals a veritable marquetry painting: a scene of companionship around a table, composed entirely of wood mosaic.
Don’t forget to check out the charming legs, which curve ever as gracefully as the ones on the cabinet above. Here, too, floral strands dot the delicate spines.
Other Stunning Pieces of Dutch Marquetry Furniture
This Dutch Demilune Console Table offers a much simpler but equally charming option for fans of the style. Demilune, from the French for half-moon, refers to the shape of the table, which is perfect for a hallway or against an empty wall in any room.
Note the floral detail here as well – birds have found their way into the flower fields once more and beckon the beholder with their feathered features.
This Dutch Marquetry Card Table, meanwhile, plays with differently colored wood to create one of the most realistic examples of marquetry in our catalog. The bouquet of flowers on the folded exemplar jumps out at you with hues of green and gold. It’s certainly one of the most striking pieces of visual theatre you can find in an 18th-century original.
Imagine accenting this table with a bouquet of real flowers in a modern vase – and just like that, you’ve integrated it into the modern home.
Summary: Beauty in the Details
What sets Dutch Marquetry furniture pieces apart is the sheer detail in their design. Indeed, you will be hard-pressed to find a kind of antique furniture that manages to walk the line between decorative opulence and charming simplicity with such grace.
Be sure to delve deeper into the Styylish catalog for even more pieces. When it comes to finding the most beautiful, unique, and original antiques, our team at Styylish knows just what they’re doing – and we’re expanding our collection every day.