Extremely thin sheet of rich-coloured wood (such as mahogany, ebony, or rosewood) or precious materials (such as ivory or tortoiseshell) cut in decorative patterns and applied to the surface of a piece of furniture. Though veneering was practiced in Classical antiquity, its use lapsed in the Middle Ages. It was revived in the 17th century, reaching its apogee in France and spreading from there to other European countries. The considerable craftsmanship involved in artistic veneering is most evident in the 18th and early 19th centuries, when Thomas Chippendale, George Hepplewhite, and Thomas Sheraton used mahogany and satinwood veneers. By the mid-19th century mechanical saws allowed the veneering process to be used in mass production to cover defects in cheap furniture.
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