Marquetry

Marquetry (also spelled as marqueterie; from the French marqueter, to variegate) is the art and craft of applying pieces of veneer to a structure to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures. The technique may be applied to case furniture or even seat furniture, to decorative small objects with smooth, veneerable surfaces or to freestanding pictorial panels appreciated in their own right.

Casket, early 18th century, attributed to Andre-Charles Boulle, oak carcass veneered with tortoiseshell, gilt copper, pewter and ebony, in the Art Institute of Chicago
Marquetry picture, Germany 1776
In contrast, this tilt-top table is veneered in a parquetry pattern by Isaac Leonard Wise, circa 1934.

Marquetry differs from the more ancient craft of inlay, or intarsia, in which a solid body of one material is cut out to receive sections of another to form the surface pattern. The word derives from a Middle French word meaning "inlaid work".