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  • Place of origin:


  • Date:

    1800-1820 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood, veneered in straw marquetry

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Lady Corey

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Straw marquetry was known as early as the 17th century, but it was most popular in the period 1780–1830 in France and Britain. The straw was split and flattened, then glued into place on thin paper on which the design had been drawn. This was then glued to a wooden carcase, which was usually covered first with a thicker paper. The maker could divide the straw into two, four or more strips, depending on the fineness needed for the design. Colour could be added to the surface with various varnishes, which also enhanced the glossy appearance of the marquetry. Straw marquetry was most suitable for small objects such as tea chests or work boxes but occasionally larger pieces of furniture were decorated in this way. Because straw work is very fragile, it is rare for pieces to survive in good condition.

Physical description

Workbox, in the form of a book, veneered in coloured straw marquetry in a variety of patterns. The underside of the hinged lid has a mirror in the centre. The interior contains five compartments, four of which have hinged lids. The lock has an escutcheon of carved bone.

Place of Origin



1800-1820 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Wood, veneered in straw marquetry


Width: 32 cm, Depth: 24 cm, Height: 6 cm

Object history note

Original object file notes 'Made in England by a french prisoner of war, about 1800'

Descriptive line

Box, in the form of a book, veneered in straw marquetry, English, 1800-1820


Straw; Wood; Material


Straw marquetry; Technique


Straw Marquetry


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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