A pair of Syrian walnut Bezeka games table chairs with marquetry mother of pearl inlay, circa 1890
Incredibly stunning, these two antique chairs are crafted from walnut and boasts artfully carved mother-of pearl and bone inlays in traditional Syrian motifs.
Syrian furniture is distinctively unique and rich in Islamic Art. Artisans regularly employ walnut and traditional Arabic décor, which make this style of furniture easily recognizable. Taking an Oriental Old-World approach to carpentry, woodworkers utilize simple tools and Intarsia skills (mother of pearl inlays).
Intarsia and other wood-inlay techniques begin with extremely complex patterns carved into the walnut materials. Craftspeople then select, trim, and polish mother-of-pearl fragments to fit precisely into the pre-carved spaces; the shapes and curves of many pieces necessitate several hours to inlay properly. Either way any piece of Syrian furniture or décor represents hard work and expert craftsmanship. The resulting furnishings are finished with varnish for protection and longevity.
Methods and techniques are often kept within families and passed down through generations. The exquisite inlays and master craftsmanship yield pieces of furniture that are truly works of art. Each piece created by Syrian artisans is unique, and they take great pride in this fact. Many European furniture dealers agree that ancestral expertise like that of the Syrian culture provides a quality and richness that one simply cannot find in mass-produced or machine-crafted goods.