I came across in an antique shop a partly-used 1950’s or so marquetry kit for creating a quite charming image of a village street and houses entitled ‘Sleepy Cornwall’. I decided to fork out £5 to buy it and complete what someone had started – perhaps it was a child’s Christmas or birthday gift and they lost interest along the way…
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the half-finished picture before commencing its completion.
The arrowed areas in the image opposite indicate the main part that had been started – the top half and sides. I had to complete the rest from my own collection of veneers – mostly relating to the windows, all the roadway and paths and the white building in the distance.
The original user had made an error in cutting the area between the sky and the right hand building so that it looks as if there is a drainpipe attached to the roof. This was too challenging to correct to I left that as it was.
The picture had been mounted on a board leaving a surround that is normally completed with a dark veneer. I decided to leave this and having applied several coats of varnish had the board set in a picture frame as shown on the right.
The Guide and Assembly Instructions
The kit came with a line drawing showing by way of letters which types of veneer were to be used for the various parts of the design, although all the original veneers were not available for me. Beginning to end guidance was provided for its construction plus helpful ‘aids to good marquetry’ – images of all these are shown below.
The recommended handicraft tools were made by Swann-Morton – a company founded in 1932 and one now specialising in the manufacture of surgical blades and scalpels with a world-wide export business.