Damascus: Intarsia Workers

Date: c. 1885-1990

Intarsia craftsmen inlay materials such as mother-of-pearl, bone, coloured wood, and plastics into a wooden object in a mosaic style. Johannes Kalter visited a business focused on this craft in Damascus and found the shop to be in operation since the late nineteenth century. This workshop restores old furniture or produces new ones according to models from the 1897 Paris World Exhibition catalogue, or according to the wishes of the client. The contemporary production process differs from the past in terms of tools, materials, and the division of labour. See also: Maker of Clogs; Cabinet Maker; Seller of Mother-of-Pearl.

Citation: Kalter, Johannes, “Urban Handicrafts”, in Kalter, Johannes, Margareta Pavaloi, and Maria Zerrnickel, eds. The Arts and Crafts of Syria: Collection Antoine Touma and Linden-Museum Stuttgart (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1992), pp. 72-74, figs. 131-34.