Sunday, October 4, 2009

The art of Marble Inlay - Parchin Kari / Pietra Dura

The inlay work on Taj Mahal

An artist carving on a plate.

A lovely fruit bowl... I loved this one.

Display in a shop window...sadly photography was prohibited inside... it was a treasure trove there....
Inlay work on black kadappa stone.... this is slightly (very slightly) less expensive
A superb dining table that can seat at-least 8 persons.

A coffee table....

As I had mentioned in the earlier post on Taj Mahal, the inlay work found on the Marble of Taj Mahal is called Pietra Dura.

There are many artisans in and around Agra, who practice this art, and there are many shops where you can purchase marble souvenirs decorated in this manner.Show pieces (like miniature Taj Mahals, statues of Gods etc) as well as objects that can serve a practical purpose are available... We bought a picture frame with the inlay work, but I I took snaps of a few of the objects that caught my eye...

I also got to speak to a young artisan, who was working on a plate ... it is a long and tedious process and takes a lot of years to master. I asked them if they were unhappy being put to work at a tender age, and he told that if others (the general public) go to school before they have to earn a livelihood, that is what he and others like him are doing....!!! Only, they know what they will do to earn their livelihood early on and they become specialists in their craft....

And the beauty of their creations are breath-taking... it is very difficult to be content with owning just one piece... atleast, I felt like picking up everything in sight...

You may judge for yourselves...


  1. Stunning! That dining room table is amazing.

  2. That in-lay work is absolutely beautiful! I would have wanted to bring all of it home with me!

  3. Oh my! The dining table and the coffee table are divine!

  4. This is amazing. Wow, the patience this must take. I do mosaics so I appreciate the craftsmanship.