19th Century Inlay


In the 1920’s, an unexpected artifact was unearthed from a royal tomb near Ur, a prehistoric city in Mesopotamia, in what is now present-day Iraq. Measuring 8 by 19 inches, this unique trapezoidal box was estimated to be over four-thousand years old. Inlaid with iridescent shell, red limestone and deep blue lapis lazuli, the sides of the box depict oppositional narratives–scenes of war and peace, commemorating the life of Sumerian King Pabilsag, who ruled Ur in  2550 BC.

The ancient tradition of mother-of-pearl inlay is characterized by distinctly identifiable styles, depending on the place of origin. The age-old cities of Damascus, Istanbul, Cairo and Marrakesh, as well as countries such as India, China, Japan, Korea and Thailand have their own interpretation of the craft. Inlay pieces often have symbolic significance, illustrating the daily life and history of their respective cultures.

Our collection of inlay furniture was selected for its pedigree of design, its craftsmanship and its historic significance. Preserving the structure and finishes of these pieces required the specialized skills of traditional artisans at our NOA Living Atelier in Beirut. We opt not to reproduce, but rather rebirth these authentic pieces to enrich your life and add a unique beauty to your environment.