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The Ancient Craft of Bone Inlay


Crafted by artisans in India

Originating in the royal palaces of Rajasthan, India, centuries ago, bone inlay β€” also known as intarsia β€” is the timeless craft of decorating furnishings, such as side tables, cabinets, drawers and mirrors, with hand-carved bone fragments and resin adhered in intricate patterns. The Early Settler bone inlay range of furnishings incorporates these ancient techniques into striking contemporary designs to create elegant, on-trend and unique statement pieces crafted by hand in India using 100% ethically sourced buffalo bones.

The beauty of bone inlay

Bone inlay is the technique of adhering pieces of hand-carved bone onto items in beautiful patterns, such as mosaic, zig-zag, floral, fishtail and herringbone. Coloured resin is used to fill the space around the bone and create a smooth finish. As with all handicrafts β€” such as woodcarving, rug weaving, embroidering fabrics and making ceramics β€” bone inlay pieces reflect the cultural identity of the people creating them. The craft is passed down through generations and each piece is handmade and absolutely unique with its own story to tell, offering a one-of-a-kind centrepiece in your home.

The Ancient Craft of Bone Inlay - drawers 90020272
The Ancient Craft of Bone Inlay - half moon side tables

Ethically sourced

A long-practised craft of the largely vegetarian people of India, the inlay pieces are ethically sourced, often from the discarded bones of animals that died of natural causes. The bone inlay furniture purchased by Early Settler hails from Jodhpur, India where 100% buffalo bones are used. Each and every shipment comes with a Customs certification to ensure the products were made in inspected workshops where the bone was ethically sourced.

Intricately carved

The production of bone inlay furniture is meticulous and time-consuming, often taking a month to create a single piece of furniture. It starts with the ethically-sourced bones being hand-carved into the desired shapes. These pieces are then stuck to the timber or metal frame of the furniture in a beautiful pattern by the artisan. After drying, a resin is poured around the bones to create the background, as well as to secure them into place and ensure a sleek finish. All materials used are natural and organic.

The Ancient Craft of Bone Inlay - white drawers 90020273
The Ancient Craft of Bone Inlay - bedside table 90020274

Exquisite & unique

Each piece is absolutely exquisite with awe-inspiring intricacy and its own story to tell. Among the Early Settler bone inlay range, you’ll find bedroom drawers, bedside tables, sideboards, side tables, coffee tables, consoles and desks. To relish your timeless treasures for years to come, dust regularly with a soft cloth, avoid positioning your furniture in direct sunlight and if spills occur, use a soft dry cloth immediately and avoid abrasive cleaning products.

More in-store at Early Settler

Visit us in-store and online to check out our beautiful bone inlay pieces. And check out our exotic Indian treasures.

The Ancient Craft of Bone Inlay - sideboard 90020544

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  1. Isla 17th July 2022

    You say that all materials used are natural and organic.

    Can you tell me what the resin is?

  2. Mohammad Farman 4th April 2023

    Resin is a chemical so technically not completely organic


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