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Object Timeline

1953

  • We acquired this object.

2012

2013

2015

2019

  • You found it!

Imitation Leather (Japan), ca. 1885

This is a Imitation leather. It is dated ca. 1885 and we acquired it in 1953. Its medium is fiber composition, tung oil, embossed. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

This sample of imitation leather was found among several hundred other samples in a box addressed to Mr. Warren Delano, grandfather of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and labeled "Japanese Wallpaper in Squares." The design is in the Anglo-Japanesque style as seen in the asymmetry of the pattern. The wallcoverings has a peculiar chemical odor, like petroleum. An article found in "The Decorator and Furnisher" in 1885 addressed this issue by stating that the oily smell has been eliminated. Imitation leather wallcoverings became fashionable in the 1870s and gained renewed fervor with the Colonial Revival movement in teh early twentieth century.

  • Leather, ca. 1700
  • leather, stamped, embossed, silvered, varnished.
  • Museum purchase through gift of Thomas Snell.
  • 1903-21-3

Its dimensions are

45.5 x 33 cm (17 15/16 x 13 in.)

Cite this object as

Imitation Leather (Japan), ca. 1885; fiber composition, tung oil, embossed; 45.5 x 33 cm (17 15/16 x 13 in.); 1953-156-11-a/c

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition New York and the Gilded Age.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18395011/ |title=Imitation Leather (Japan), ca. 1885 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 August 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>