From the 17th century, marquetry craftsmen in the region of Méru were making a whole range of luxury articles for Parisian wholesalers (fans, opera glasses, broaches, buttons, toiletries, cutlery, jewellery...) using natural materials from distant parts of the world : pearl oysters, shellfish, animal horn, tortoiseshell, ivory, bone and exotic wood.
The inhabitants of Méru have always kept strong ties with what used to be the major activity of their region, even though there is just a handful of craftsmen working with mother-of-pearl today. Nostalgia for this not so distant past, memories still firmly embedded in the craft and traces of this traditional activity in each family have given the families the desire to keep a collective memory for this craft in a place which itself is full of history.
The Musée de la Nacre et de la Tabletterie (the mother-of-pearl and marquetry museum) is the living account of these memories, honoring Méru more than ever before, as the mother-of-pearl capital.
The Musée de la nacre et de la tabletterie is housed in a magnificent brick building dating from the 19th century, formerly a button-making factory, now entirely renovated, and listed in the Inventaire Supplémentaire des Monuments Historiques(an additional list of Historical buildings), close to the town centre of Méru.
Rates : 7 € adult / 3,50 € children (from 5 to 16 years old) and student
Open from 2.30 to 6.30 pm
Guided visit : 3 pm, 4 pm & 5 pm
Closed on : Tuesdays
The Mother-of-Pearl Museum
51, rue Roger Salengro - 60110 Méru
Tél. + 33 (0) 3 44 22 61 74
Museum's website The Mother-of-Pearl Museum
Send an e-mail to The Mother-of-Pearl Museum