Historically, the French city of Méru was a centre for the production of 'tabletterie': items in mother-of-pearl, ivory, bone and other natural materials. In the 1970s a group of local history enthusiasts raised the idea of founding a museum, as they feared the disappearance of this craft tradition. The group was soon supported by many cultural associations, and the Musée de la Nacre et de la Tabletterie was born. Located in a typical factory of the industrial revolution, the museum realistically recreates traditional craft workshops, complete with original machinery. In particular, the museum has reconstructed the studio of M.Tartare, a bone cutter and domino driller from 1940 to 1970. During a guided tour, visitors will come to understand every intricate step required to make a dominos set, as well as the delicate process for crafting mother-of-pearl buttons.
In addition, visitors can explore a lavish collection of traditional items, taking them across centuries of craftsmanship. In an effort to maintain this traditional craft and pass on its secrets to future generations, the museum produces objects for sale in the boutique and offers restoration services for mother-of-pearl objects.