Persian Marquetry in Iran
Inlaid work made from small pieces of coloured wood or other materials, used for the decoration in Persia.
Khatamkari (also known as Persian inlaid work) as a Persian version of marquetry means incrustation (incrustation work). Khatamkari is one of the Persian arts of woodwork where in the surface of wooden or metallic artifacts is decorated with tiny pieces of wood, bone and metal cut in a variety of shapes and designs. This craft involves the production of incrustation patterns generally star-shaped, with thin sticks of wood (ebony, teak, ziziphus, orange, rose), brass (for golden parts), camel bones (white parts). These sticks are assembled in triangular beams, and bonded in a strict order to create a geometrical motif such as a six-branch star included in a hexagon. Then, these sections are ready to be plated and glued on the object to be decorated. Ivory, gold or silver are also used for high quality luxurious objects. Artworks with smaller inlaid pieces are generally more highly valued.
Delicate and meticulous marquetry has been produced since the Safavid area. Many objects can be decorated in this fashion, such as jewelry/ decorative boxes, chessborades, pipes, desks, frames or some musical instruments. Khatam can also be used in Persian miniatures, making it a more attractive work of art.