Though frequently referred to as Spanish or Dutch leathers embossed leather wallcoverings were made all across Europe. The production of embossed leathers was very labor intensive. First, the entire surface of the tanned leather is covered with silver leaf, which is then brushed with a layer of yellow varnish to give it a gold appearance. It is then embossed by turning upside down and pressing into a mold. Lastly, the design is painted on with oils. Embossed leathers were only produced using silver leaf as the guilds were very strict about this and had severe penalties for using other types of metal. The molds used to emboss the leathers were developed in The Netherlands in early 17th C. Prior to that time all leathers were just flat w/ painted designs. This leather fragment contains a central floral motif, which would have been found near the bottom of the leather panel. The surface of the leather has an all-over saw-tooth embossing over which the design is painted.
This object was
Eleanor Garnier Hewitt.
It is credited
Gift of Eleanor Garnier Hewitt.
Our curators have highlighted 6 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:
Its dimensions are
H x W: 58.5 x 38.5 cm (23 1/16 x 15 3/16 in.)
Cite this object as
Leather (Holland); leather, stamped, silvered, painted; H x W: 58.5 x 38.5 cm (23 1/16 x 15 3/16 in.); Gift of Eleanor Garnier Hewitt; 1903-12-18
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Hewitt Sisters Collect.