Marquetry marvels from LINLEY

Linley has created a bespoke keepsake box to celebrate new exhibition, Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes at the V&A.

LINLEY Diaghilev keepsake box
LINLEY Diaghilev keepsake box

If you’re a ballet fan, make sure you dance over to London’s V&A for their new exhibition, Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, 1909 – 1929, running to 9 January 2011.

To celebrate, British design company, LINLEY, has created a Petrushka keepsake/jewellery box in sycamore. Through the use of intricate marquetry, the top of the box features images of three Ballet Russe dancers in performance, referring to a production in Paris from 1911.

Mother of Pearl in-lays adorn the bottom of the depicted stage with veneers including oak, Santos rosewood and burr ash, contributing to the elegance of the performance and indeed of the design itself. The main body of the oval box depicts two levels of arcading, the lower level housing a pull-out compartment with velvet lining.

The classic yet unique style of the box echoes the contribution Diaghilev and his company made to avant-garde art; asserting the status of the group as one of the most influential theatre companies of the 20th century.

Although not available for purchase, the Petrushka keepsake/jewellery box is a charming example of bespoke design in creating unique portrayals of any subject, scene or personal message. For gift ideas of your own, or to create your own commissioned piece, go to