Mechanical an Useful arts. Ornamental Leather.

The Year-Book of Facts in Science and Art
Exhibiting the Most Important discoveries and Improvements of the past year,
in mechanics and the useful arts; natural philosophy; electricity; chemistry; zoology and biology; geology and geography; meteorology and astronomy.
By John Timbs,
editor of "the Arcana of Science and Art."
David Bogue, Fleet Street,
Mr. Poynter has read to the Institute of British Architects, a paper "On Ornamental Leather Hangings." He stated that this material was used in a similar way by the Egyptians 900 years B.C.; but he principally confined his remarks to the use made of it since the 16th century, — as, during that and the following century, it was extensively used by the richer classes — its manufacture being principally at Venice and in Flanders. From the latter country it was introduced into France; but it is doubtful if it was ever manufactured in England. Leather hangings never entirely superseded tapestry or wood panelling. The best leather was made from goats’ or calves’ skin, ingeniously connected together; and the surface was silvered over previously to being painted. The effect of gold was produced by a varnish of yellow colour laid on the silver. The embossing was done by the pressure from dies; the minute ornaments being produced by tools — the method corresponding to that adopted by bookbinders of the present day. Among the various specimens of this rich style of decoration exhibited, and belonging to Mr. Pratt, of Bond-street, was a large and valuable hanging of the 17th century, representing the meeting of Antony and Cleopatra, richly painted and elaborately finished in all the details of the dresses and other portions of the figures, which are the size of life. Mr. Poynter alluded to fine examples to be seen at Chatsworth, and other mansions in England; and particularly described a series of leather panels at Rouen, which are perfect.

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