PRESENTING a GORGEOUS Middle Eastern Brass Inlaid Savonarola Chair.

20th Century, probably circa 1960-80.

Teak inlaid with brass in floral and geometric patterns.

Probably made in or around Syria or Pakistan … a region renowned for this type of brass work.

The brass inlay is all over the back splat the scrolling side arm rests the front of the seat and each of the base supports. For leaf clovers being the central theme.

Damascening is the art of inlaying different metals into one another—typically, gold or silver into a darkly oxidizedsteel background—to produce intricate patterns similar to niello. The English term comes from a perceived resemblance to the rich tapestry patterns of damasksilk.

The technique,while also being used on firearms, has a long history in Japan, where it was used to decorate katana fittings, particularly tsuba. Known as zougan(象嵌) in Japanese, it has developed its own subset of terms to describe the particular patterns, although “shippou-zougan” is an enamelling technique which most Westerners would consider closer to champlevé.

Damascened-inlay jewelry, especially of Japanese origin, is sometimes referred to as shakudo from the use of that alloy as the dark background.

The technique of niello is also famously attested in prehistoric Greece. The earliest occurrence of damascening in the Aegean, from the Shaft Graves of Mycenae, dates to the latest Middle Bronze Age/Middle Helladic IIIB period (dagger Nu-304). Ultimately of Near Eastern provenance, the technique of inlaying silver/gold was adapted to suit Aegean taste and style.

Cities that are known for a rich history in Damascening where the technique is still practiced are Malaysia, Indonesia, Toledo, SpainEibarBasque Country and Kyoto, Japan.


Middle Eastern Brass Inlaid Savonarola Chair.

Provenance: From a Private Dallas Collection of a Collector who lived in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) for 20 years in the 1980’s.

Condition: Near Mint.

Dimensions: 42″ Tall, 27″ Wide and 23″ Deep. The Seat is 18.4″ Tall and 13.75″ Deep.