Tibetan NAGA CONCH shell beads with inlays from distant Nepal //
INTARSIA are decorations on an object made of wood, metal or shell, where different patterns with a smooth surface are created by incorporating different colored plates made of a different material. Strictly speaking, only inlays made of wood can be called inlays, but this term is also used in everyday language for other materials, because intarsiere means to inlay in Italian.
The oldest known civilizations already knew techniques for decorating wooden objects. One of the oldest known objects is a cedar wood coffin decorated with inlay work from Egypt of the 12th Dynasty (around 2012–1792 BC), in which, in addition to glass paste, ivory and foreign woods such as ebony from Ethiopia were used. The decoration techniques used were as varied as the materials. The main feature of all of these techniques is that the correspondingly decorated objects have a largely flat surface. This is not only practical for use, but also gives the items a noble, discreetly elegant look.