Mother of Pearl

Mother-of-pearl or Nacre, is a mineral matter secreted by the mollusc inside its shell throughout its life.

Depending on their colour or provenance, there are different categories of mother-of-pearl: white beaded mother-of-pearl, mother of pearl, burgau (or burgaudine), pearl shell. Its iridescent reflections recall the depths of the sea and are distinguished by their elegance and sobriety.

In cabinet-making, it can be assembled in tablettery or marquetry to make small objects or nets on furniture.


The first nacres came from the pearl oyster found throughout the Indo-Pacific area. It was replaced by the troca, mollusca of New Caledonia.

Italy – XIV and Renaissance. The mother of pearl is used in tabletting, small knives, the game of dominoes, and white mother-of-pearl marquetry.

Region of Méru – XVII. It is found here in the small craft of everyday life.

China / Syria / East / Maghreb – XIX. It can be seen on accessories and weapons (swords) but also on furniture.

Today they come from Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Djibouti and Madagascar.


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