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Khatam marquetry is a treasured, ancient Persian craft for decorating special items. Delicate strips of various fine woods, brass and silver wires and camel bone are bonded together in little, usually hexagonal, bundles and then thin slices are cut from the bundles and affixed to the item to be decorated before lacquering. As it is a painstaking and delicate craft, usually the pieces decorated thus are relatively small.

John’s Iranian sister-in-law has in the past brought beautiful little khatam trinket boxes back when she visits home.

The Source.