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A Background of Khatam Art

Nikoo Shojanoori


Most of the people of the world are interested in wooden objects because of the various reasons including natural and beautiful color and design. These objects are created and rearranged in various ways in each country. Khatam wood art is one of the wooden arts that, in spite of its beauty and unique features, due to the geographical limitations of production and the complexity of the construction process, it is unknown for most of the world’s people and even for researchers of the history of arts and handicrafts field so far. This art is covered by gluing the inlaid strips. Strips of Khatam are created by wrapping together the glued long and thin wooden, metal or bone rods and then cut them. In a kind of this art, which is famous with the name of "square khatam" in Iran and "tarsia a toppo" or "end-grain mosaic marquetry" in Europe, instead of charter, wooden plates are glued together and after creating incision for several times are putting on each other and cutting then are converted to the beautiful decorative tapes. Another way of art creation is also seen in Europe which is known to the "miniature parquetry" and somewhat is similar to "six khatam" in Iran. The production of these elegant constructions which is famous to the "Tessellated mosaic marquetry" in Europe refers to the after 16th century, namely four centuries after the first construction signs of the Khatam in Iran. On the other hand, about the similarity of Khatam to the inlay or marquetry art, it should be noted that
there are fundamental differences between the type of material and method of construction in each of the mentioned arts with the Khatam. Therefore, according to the properties of Khatam, Khatam cannot misnamed with "inlay" or "marquetry" and it is suggested to add Khatam as a type of handicraft into the English language dictionary in order to introduce this art properly.


wood art, Khatam, inlay, marquetry, miniature parquetry

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