Techniques for decorating wood with veneer have been around for a while. Veneers of African ebony with inlays of ivory and other exotic materials were commonly used to decorate artifacts the Pharaohs planned to take with them into the afterlife beginning with the earliest dynasties - fragments of inlaid wood roughly 5,000 years old were found in King Semerkhet's tomb. An extravagantly inlaid table presented to Julius Cesar by Cleopatra, and a citron table purchased by the Roman orator Cicero, which featured "veins arranged in waving lines to form spirals like small whirlpools," are two examples of the highly developed veneering techniques in practice over 2000 years ago.
In the seventeenth century, veneering took a major step forward with the development of better woodworking tools. And by the beginning of the eighteenth century, veneering began to take center stage when a shift in furniture making style replaced frame and panel construction