Mother of pearl marquetry boxes that are made in Egypt
The early use of wood veneers for decorative purposes dates to ancient Egypt. The Pharaohs were familiar with chairs and chests that incorporated thinly sliced sections of contrasting woods and semi-precious materials assembled in geometric patterns. Currently, traditional artisanal workshops, or the producers, are responsible for the design and production process. Workshops purchase the raw materials and then transform them using the craftsmen’s inherited knowledge, skill, and know-how in producing an authentic piece of Egyptian Islamic craft. During the production process, artisanal workshops do not perform all production tasks; rather, there is a specialization within the one-craft cluster. Adding value to the product takes place during the production process, where a complete cluster of not less than five workshops contribute to the value-added process for one product. Egypt which is well known for its mother-of-pearl inlaid wooden boxes (different, for example, from Damascene wood products), use the following craftsmen to work on a single box; a carpenter an inlay worker (sadafgy); a wood stainer (ostorgy) and an upholsterer (menaged).