Marquetry donkey, 19th century style
This marquetry donkey was originally designed in Paris during the 19th century. Donkeys like this were still being sold in the Faubourg Saint Antoine tool shops until the mid 20th century when lack of demand for hand tools forced such specialised shops to close. It is a more refined and precise version of the 18th century style donkey. The attachment of the piercing saw to the donkey allows the cutting to be mechanically guided making the donkey easier to use and producing better results. Up to 12 layers of veneers can be cut at once with extreme precision. French marquetry schools, such as the Ecole Boulle in Paris, still teach marquetry cutting on this donkey.
The marquetry donkey shown below is the personal donkey of Yannick Chastang. It is made of pear wood, with the arm in ash and with knobs and handles in ebony. It was made in 1993 and incorporates many mechanical improvements on the original 19th century design. It is still in perfect working order and is a pleasure to use. It has been personalised with the addition of a drawer for saw blades and adjustable jaws.
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