This is an 18th century pencil box with a marquetry of red shell and brass.
As these two materials work in opposition, considerable work was involved. This object came to my workshop with the brass unstuck and missing parts in the shell background.
Repasting with fish glue was a very delicate task that I followed up with a sanding and a polishing of the whole piece. The fun part came after when I sponge-applied the shellac.
I also cleaned the bronze to recoup the original gilding that had tarnished over the years or had been re-gilded by another gilder.
Then came the delicate, and what can sometimes be a fastidious task of reaffixing the bronze to create the final touch.