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Caskets and Sheaths with relief and impressed leather decorations.

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  • rmhowe
    ... This is going to be a bit odd but contains useful bits: Mostly dull scribing tools but by then they also used high relief techniques which were done by
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 25, 2003
      azwolf6170 wrote:
      > I am interested in making a leather box with art work on top of it.
      > What tools did they use in England in the 1510-1540s to tool the
      > leather with?

      This is going to be a bit odd but contains useful bits:

      Mostly dull scribing tools but by then they also used
      high relief techniques which were done by putting bits
      of leather or other shaped stuffing behind the leather
      to push it out for modelling around from the front.
      This is a bit similar to English Embroidery called
      stumpwork which appears just after 1600.

      A book on simple tooling I like is:
      Groneman, Chis H., Leather Tooling & Carving, 1950,
      Dover Publications, New York

      This and numbers II and III are very modern:
      Stohlman, Al: The Art of Making Leather Cases I, 1979,
      Tandy Leather Co., Ft. Worth, TX. In continual reprint.

      Waterer for the sheer volume of stuff he wrote doesn't
      compare to Gunther Gall's huge masterwork in German but
      he does have scattered goodies in his stuff:
      Waterer, John W.: Leather and Craftsmanship, 1950,
      Farber & Farber Ltd., London, England.
      : Leather Craftsmanship, 1968, Frederic A.
      Praeger, New York, New York.
      : ‘Irish Book-Satchels or Budgets’; in Medieval
      Archaeology vol. 12, 1968, pp. 70-82. A book satchel
      is a carrying bag, sometimes with straps.

      You will find scribed carving in:
      Waddington, Q. "Viking sheathes of leather" in Antiquaries
      Journal 7 (1927): 515-29.

      A whole book on caskets - most of them later period or later
      than period although there is a horn casket from the late
      9th C.:
      Berger, Ewald: Prunk-Kassetten, Europaische Meisterwerke aus Acht
      Jahrhunderten, Ornamental Caskets of Eight Centuries; 1998:
      Arnoldsche, Stuttgart, cloth, dj, Text in English and
      German. The Hans Schell Collection, Graz., profuse color &
      b/w illus., 318 pages, 12 x 10", ornamental caskets /
      decorative art / metal work / gold boxes. ISBN 392536983X $110.
      Pp. 336, approximately 500 illustrations.
      also known as:
      Berger, Ewald: Ornamental Coffers; Eight Centuries of European
      Craftsmanship ISBN: 392536983X Arnoldsche Verlaganstalt
      GmbH, Jan.1999, US 110.00

      Brown, T.J. (ed.): The Stoneyhurst Gospel of St. John, London, 1959.
      This is the earliest English surviving book and case.
      This took me four years to get a copy of but contains a lot of
      pictures of satchels, a book or two, and an Irish Shield,
      it also contains information on tanning, and also early
      laws concerning taking your neighbor's oak bark for
      tanning shoes and what happens when you mess with an
      Irish holy place:(“Now there was a great oak tree under
      which (St.)Colomb Cille dwelt while he was in that place
      (Cennanus, Kells), and it remained to these later times,
      when it fell through the crash of a mighty wind. And a
      certain man took somewhat of its bark to tan his shoes
      withal. Now when he did on the shoes he was smitten with
      leprosy from his sole to his crown.” :

      Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland:
      Series VI, Vol. V, Part IV, 31 December 1915:
      Contents: Thomas Johnson Westropp, MA, Fellow,
      Prehistoric Remains (Forts and Dolmens) in Burren
      and its South-Western Border, Co. Clare, Park XII:
      -North-Western Part- continued (illustrated)...
      page 249- 274. // Goddard H. Prpen, M.R.I.A, Member
      - The Normans in Tirowen and Tirconnell...275-88.
      // H.Th. Knox,Fellow - Rath Brenainn (illustrated) 289-99.
      // J.J. Buckley, Member - Some Early Ornamented Leatherwork
      (Illustrated) 300-309, with accompanying plates.
      "The ornamentation of leatherwork, (1)[The technique of
      the ornamentation applied to the objects described in
      this paper consists of - (1) simple tooling, as in modern
      bookbinding, or (2) softening and impressing (cuir
      bouilli), or (3) incising with a sharp instrument.]
      classed in our day as one of the minor arts, held a
      relatively important position in the domain of applied
      art in the early Christian and mediaeval periods in
      Ireland." Author's opening statement.
      “For it was his wont (i.e. St Colomb-Cille’s) to make
      crosses, and writing tablets, and book-satchels, and other
      church gear. Now he sained three hundred crosses, and three
      hundred wells, and a hundred tablets, and a hundred croziers, and a
      hundred satchels.” Sounds like leatherworkers might
      have an alternate saint.

      Camille, Michael: The Medieval Art of Love, Objects and
      Subjects of Desire, Harry N. Abrams Pubs., 1998,
      New York, ISBN 0810915448
      Contains a range of objets d'amour including caskets.

      Cherry, John: "The Talbot Casket and Related Late Medieval
      Leather Caskets" -in- Society of Antiquaries of London:
      Archaeologia; or, Miscellaneous Tracts Relating to
      Antiquity; published by the Society of Antiquaries
      of London; Volume CVII, London, 1982, pp.222, text-illustrations,
      plates. Includes: Swords and sequence
      in the British Bronze Age; Anglo-Saxon Glass claw-beakers;
      Anglo-Saxon button brooches; The sanctuary ring of Durham
      Cathedral; The stained glass of the chapel of the Vyne
      and the Chapel of the Holy Ghost, Basingstoke; Ightham
      Mote: politics and architecture in Early Tudor England.

      D'Allemagne, Henry Rene': Decorative Antique Ironwork, A
      Pictorial Treasury, Over 4500 Objects Illustrated on
      415 plates. Dover, ISBN 0486220826. My copy is 1968 but
      it's in reprint. Contains a number of pictures of caskets
      and fittings. Some of them are leather covered.

      : Deutsches Ledermuseum. Kunsthandwerk, Volkskunde, Völkerkunde,
      Fachtechnik. Deutsches Schuhmuseum, 2 Aufl. Offenbach a.M.,
      1961. 154 pp., 58 ills. Has a few caskets if I recall.
      Deutsches Ledermuseum & Deutsches Schuhmuseum
      Frankfurter Straße 86, 63067 Offenbach am Main, Frankfurt Germany
      Tel.: 069 / 813021 LederSchuhOF@...
      Mo.: 10.-13. Uhr, Mi.:10.- 20. Uhr, Di., Do., Fr., Sa., So.: 10.-
      17. Uhr - That would be hours open.

      Diehl, Edith: Bookbinding, Vol. 1, Dover Books, NY, c.1946,
      1980, p. 109. The Stonyhurst Bible is 7th C.

      GALL, GÜNTHER.: Leder im europäischen ; Kunsthandwerk.
      Braunschweig, 1965. 4to., orcl., xii, 406 pp.,
      w. 16 pl. in color 304 ills. in text. (Bibl. für
      Kunst u. Antiquitätenfreunde, Bd. XLIV). Klinkhardt &
      Biermann - Braunschweig.
      - It is flat out stunning in the variety of items.
      There are fantastic things in it like crown cases,
      reliquary cases, leather caskets and trunks, cases
      for all sorts of things, many of them repouseed in
      very high relief. There are a number of leather
      covered shields in it. try http://www.ZVAB.com/

      Glass, Frederick J.: Leathercraft; London, U of London
      Press, 1927, first edition, 200 x 140mm.
      82pp. 30figs in text. The author was the headmaster
      of the School of Arts and Crafts Doncaster. Book in
      the series The Artistic, Practical Handcraft Series.
      Chapters on:- Types of leather and decoration, thonging and making
      up, press studs etc., Stencilling,
      Modelling and Embossing, Carved or Cut work, Staining,
      Colouring and Inlaying, Etc., Metal Enrichment,
      Ruskins Stones, Tooling, Poker Work, Polishing, etc.,
      Historical Note, Methods of Tanning.

      Goudge, C.E. "Late Saxon leather sheaths from Gloucester and
      York" in Antiquaries Journal 59 (1979):125-7. These
      will have the dull point technique.

      Hoving, Thomas: Secular Spirit: Life and Art at the End of
      the Middle Ages; Published by E.P. Dutton and Co. in
      association with Metropolitan Museum of Art Hoving,
      Thomas (forward) , First Edition, Reproductions, photos,
      Cloth, 1975 ISBN (cloth)052549507x (paper)0870990969
      Many leather items, some have some raised leather with
      glue/dust inserts under it.

      Mullbacher, Eva: Europaische Lederarbeiten vom 14. bis 19. Jahrhundert;
      (European Leatherwork from the 14th to 19th Centuries); Staatliche
      Museen Preussicher Kulturbesitz, Berlin 1988.
      Aus dem Sammlungen des Berliner Kunstgewerbemuseseums 1988.
      19.5 x 24.5 cm., Brosch, 96 pages, 80 b&w and 18 color
      illustrations. Vorwort 3; Einfuhrung 4; Lederarbeiten mit
      geschnittenem dekor, Katalog 1-26 p.6.; Lederarbeiten mit gemalten
      Dekor, Druck und Golddruck - contains a few caskets.
      Look for it by title not by author - again http://www.ZVAB.com/

      Needham, Paul: Twelve Centuries of Bookbindings 400-1600;
      New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1979, 4to, xxvii +
      338 pages, 100 illustrations. First paperback
      edition. Illustrates and discusses "The Codex Book and the Earliest
      Bookbindings", Medieval Treasure Bindings",
      and "Early European Leather Bookbindings". For tooling.

      Nenno, Rosita: "Gerbeverfahren, Lederverarbeitung, und Zeirtechniken"
      in: Europa"ische Technik in Mittelalter, 800 bis 1400,
      Tradition and Innovation, Ein Handbuch, by Uta Lindgren,
      Gebr. Mann Verlag, Berlin, 1996. ISBN 3786117489. Leather
      article covers pages 487-92, includes closeups of several
      highly molded caskets.

      Newman, Thelma R.: Leather as Art and Craft, 1973, Crown
      Publishers, New York ISBN: 0517505754. There is a photo
      of a leather covered box from 15th C. Italy from the
      Metropolitan Museum of Art.

      Nicolle, David, Phd: Granada 1492 - The Twilight of Moorish Spain;
      ISBN 1855327406, PB, 96 pages, 1998. Battlescene Artwork by
      Angus McBride. Depicts: Highly detailed mid 15th C.
      print of Battle of Clavijo by German artist Martin
      Schongauer who is believed to have visited Spain at
      that time - shows clothing, armor, weapons, horse fittings
      and saddles. The sceptre, crown, sword, psalter, and
      chest said to have belonged to Isabel of Aragon page 20.
      The Ceremonial Sword and Scabbard of Los Reyes Catolicos
      which was later used by the Habsburg Emperors (Inv. G1
      and G2 of Real Armeria, Madrid) page 20. Islamic belt,
      eared dagger and its scabbard, small pouch, larger pouch
      taken from Muhammed XII during his first captivity (Real
      Armeria, Madrid). The slippers and ran or overboots of
      Muhammed XII, made of tan colored leather (Museo Ejercito,
      Madrid). Various Islamic Sword hilts and upper scabbards.
      An undecorated 15-16th C. leather Spanish ardaga shield
      page 32. Moorish Archers with Quivers from ’The Army of
      Firuz’ in the early 16th C. Sulwan al-Muta. A reasonable
      representation of a Granadan army during the final war.
      Ms. 528, Library, Escorial, Monastery, page 72-3.
      Pages 88-9 depict Hispano-Moresque stirrups (ex Lady
      Ludlow and Met Collections) and an early 16th C. Tunisian
      saddle with a small drum attached to the front (Real
      Armeria, Madrid); Part of a late 15th C. Moorish bridle.

      Okasha, E.: "Anglo-Saxon Inscribed Sheaths from Aachen, Dublin
      and Trondheim"; Med. Arch. 36, 1992, 8pp.

      de Récy, Georges: Leather Work; From the French of Georges
      de Récy (The Decoration of Leather) translated by
      Maude Nathan, (1905) Reprinted 2000,
      The Caber Press,7549 N. Fenwick, Portland OR 97217,
      www.teleport.com/~tcl Thompson Conservation Laboratory.
      Jack C. Thompson, Editor.
      Originally 104 pages reduced to 48, retaining the period
      Middle Ages and Renaissance information and pictures,
      dropping the modern material. Eleven pictures depict
      leather caskets (3); An Italian 15th C.case of cut and
      embossed leather cuir bouilli; a French 14th C. Coffret,
      incised, colored and gilt, a case of cut and punched
      leather - German, 15th C., an Italian cover of a Case
      for a cup in wood covered embossed leather - cuir bouilli,
      embossed, painted and gilt, about 1500; A Powder-flask
      of wood covered with leather - cuir bouilli, cut and
      embossed - Italian 16th C.; An Italian 16th C. Shield
      of cut and embossed cuir bouilli; A Blind stamped leather
      bookbinding oF the Winchester Domesday Book - English
      12th C.; A 15th C. German Brown Leather bookbinding,
      cut and engraved with punched background - German MS.
      Chronicle of Events; A blind-stamped Morroco binding
      with gilt roundels and coloured cameo design - Celsus.
      De Medicina, Venice 1477, A cover of a work box of
      wood covered with embossed leather, cuir bouilli,
      German 16th C.. Sections include Tools and Leather,
      Choice of Skin, Methods of working in leather: tracing
      the design on the leather, Incising the leather,
      Modelling Tools, Embossing leather, modelled leather
      with Punched background, Leather Hangings and Furniture,
      Some extracts from the report of the commitee on leather
      for bookbinding appointed by the Society of Arts,
      February 1900.
      {Jack also has English Medieval Chests for $12.95 and
      Ancient Locks and Keys for $10.95, which includes a
      bibliography on further sources I wrote.)

      Russell, Janet: English Medieval Leatherwork; in Arch. Journal
      96 (1) 1939, pp. 132-41 and plates I-VI. Discusses
      metal stamps, embossed and relief designs, blunt tool
      engravings, incised designs, cuir bouilli, painting
      and gilding, guilds, illustrates sheathes, part of
      a saddle, shoe toe, short select bibliography.
      Plate I contains a fifteenth century knife sheath with
      fleur-de-lis stamps in an under and over double
      lattice running between diamonds (quite attractive),
      and the upper and lower pieces of an embossed thirteenth
      century knife sheath at roughly 2/3 scale size, totaling
      about nine inches each. Plate II shows an embossed
      fifteenth century Rondel Dagger Sheath with incised coil
      decoration; Part of stamped and incised Fleur-de-Lys
      decoration on a belt (very intricately and numerously
      stamped; and a small bit of Moulded Relief decoration
      on a cuir-bouilli inkwell, showing three saints in
      arcaded little panels over a man (Saint Sebastian
      probably) with his hands tied behind him and three
      arrow heads to either side of his arcade, with archers
      on either side of him in their arcaded panels.
      Plate III shows an incised knife sheath, fifteenth
      century (9 1/2"); an engraved knife sheath with
      embossed birds in acanthus scrolls of the 12th C. (8“);
      and Part of a sword-sheath decorated with punched and
      engraved fleur-de-lys of the 14-15th centuries (13”).
      Plate IV shows the upper part of a knife sheath, back
      engraved with animals in Acanthus Roundels and the
      front having designs of chevrons and three shields
      in both embossed and lightly stamped and cut designs.
      Plate V shows a 14th C. knife sheath with dull tool
      embossed cross-hatch designs; a 15th C. sheath with
      engraved and pricked design of diamonds with strapping
      between them and varying designs within them; and a
      small part of a 13-14th C. zoomorphic design.
      Plate VI shows a suggested part of a saddle (now taken
      to be an upper arm guard) with foliage and animals.
      Plate VII shows the triangular supposed toe of a shoe,
      which is taken to be the highest degree of Medieval
      Leather Craftsmanship attained in the late middle
      ages. The article is probably the best discussion of
      decorative styles of leatherwork and cuir bouilli to
      be found.

      Scurlock, William, ed.: Muzzleloader Magazine's Book of
      Buckskinning VII; Scurlock Publishing Co., Texarkana,
      TX, 1995, ISBN 188065505-5.
      Contains an excellent post period article on the
      "Goods of the Trunkmaker and His Trade" by Steven M.
      Lalioff, pp 198-221. Descriptions and photographs of
      original trunks, deed boxes, and chests. Also see
      plates VII-XII.

      Speake, G.: A Saxon Bed Burial on Swallowcliffe Down
      (Wiltshire) English Heritage Archaeological
      Report, English Heritage, London 10, 1989, vii,
      135 pp, pls, figs, table, refs, index, 18#,
      paper, 1850742111, "A BA barrow had been excavated
      by L. and F. de M Vatcher in 1966 had been reused
      in 7th C AD for a richly furnished Anglo-Saxon
      inhumation of a female aged 18 to 25 years. She
      lay on an ash wood bed with elaborate iron fittings,
      and was surrounded by high quality grave-goods
      including an iron bound bucket, a maplewood *casket*
      containing a sprinkler, a spoon, and personal items,
      an ornate satchel with gold foil mounts of possible
      Christian significance, and a bronze-mounted bucket.
      The burial’s significance is considered in its local
      and national context. Documentary and topographical
      evidence suggest the possible identification of the
      barrow with Posses Hlaewe, recorded in a charter of
      AD 940." OS report 10. Publ: 1/1/89
      ISBN: 01-85074-211-1 £22.20 PRODUCT CODE: XA13010
      Price: Paperback £10 / Customer Services on 0870 3331181
      or customers@... Copies of the English Heritage
      publications are available from Room 209,
      23 Savile Row, London W1X 1AB
      A leather satchel of 800 AD. Remains of the satchel,
      satchel reconstructed; fancy satchel mounts with
      archaeological comparisons to other jewellery.
      Looks a bit like St. Cuthbert's cross to me; Moylough,
      Ireland belt reliquary. Ardagh Chalice fitting; various
      mould fragments from the Mote of Mark.
      Big Bibliography.

      Tweddle?: Anglo-Scandinavian Finds from Lloyds Bank, Pavement,
      and Other Sites, which has write-ups on two leather
      sheaths from Jorvik, Dominic Tweddle refers to the
      decoration as "incised" (p. 142). These are the two
      sheaths that are also written up in the exhibition
      catalogue _The Vikings in England and in Their Danish
      Homeland_ (p. 119)

      Waterer, J.: ‘Irish Book-Satchels or Budgets‘, in Medieval
      Archaeology 12, 1968, pp. 70-82, plates IV-VII.
      Depicts the Breac Maoedoic Budget; some stitching
      details used on budgets; exploded sketch of the
      one-piece Irish Shoe, sewn together and the heel
      detail; The Corpus Christi budget, a conjectural
      restoration. Plate IV shows three views of the
      Breac Moedoic Budget, two sides and a bottom
      view. Plate V shows a Mock-up of the Breac Moedoic
      Budget in two views. Plate VI shows The Corpus
      Christi Budget from the front (very damaged) and
      the Budget of the Book of Armagh from the front.
      Plate VII shows the Armagh Budget with the front
      flap raised to show the full front, and the back
      of the same budget.

      Waterer, John W.: "Leather" in Connoiseur Period Guides - Tudor 1500-1603.
      Edited by Ralph Edwards, Reynal and Company, New York, No Date,
      60's-70's? Leather Chapter is pp.149-59 plus plates.
      Includes forcers, chests, saddle, gloves, buff tunic, Paten box,
      prayer book casket, leather lantern, flasks, bottells, bookcover,
      leather bedcover, on plates 81-4.

      Waterer, John W. LEATHER. Two Offprints. small 4to,
      pp.147-190, illustrations; pp.149-156,
      4 plates, illustrations. Paper wrappers.
      The first article is reprinted from Singer & Holmyard:
      History of Technology, Volume II and the second is
      an 8 page offprint from an article in the Tudor
      volume of the Connoisseur Period Guides (1956).
      Although they discuss the general uses of leather,
      they do contain references to bookbindings and there
      is information on the treatment of pelts. At the back
      of the first offprint is "A Note on Parchment" by H. Saxl.
      Waterer, John W.: Leather; Paper Covers. A 32 page illustrated
      booklet reprinted from the 'History of Technology Vol II"
      for the Museum of Leathercraft. Loosely inserted is
      another 8 page booklet titled 'Reprint from The Oxford
      Companion to the Decorative Arts - J.W. Waterer on

      Waterer, John William: Spanish Leather: A History of Its Use
      from 800 to 1800 for Mural Hangings, Screens, Upholstery,
      Altar Frontals, Ecclesiastical Vestments, Footwear,
      Gloves, Pouches and Caskets; Publisher: London.
      Faber & Faber. 1st edition, 1971, 130pp. Quarto. 80
      plates at rear of book, colour & b/w.
      7 b/w text illustrations; 0571090435
      No pictures of anything but wallpapers.

      Waterer article in Medieval Archeology, Vol. XII (1968)
      titled "Irish Book-satchels or Budgets." Pp.70-82.

      as above: Waterer chapter in: Singer, Charles, et al:
      A History of Technology, Volume II, 1956, Oxford.
      Covers the Mediterranean Civilization and the Middle Ages.
      Has a whole chapter on leather by Waterer.

      Wilmott, T: The Arms of FitzWalter on Leather Scabbards
      from London. Offprint from - Lond. Mid. Arch. 32,
      1981, pp. 132-139, 2figs, Printed card cover.
      Pictured: The Arms of FitzWalter, and six different
      sheathes all bearing the same simplistic design along
      with others like fleur-de-lys, and and other shields.
      One is a very nicely done animorphic design with three attractive
      wyverns (Two legged dragons with foliate tails).
      This uses the dull point technique.

      Wilson, David M., F.S.A: An Anglo-Saxon Bookbinding at Fulda
      (Codex Bonifatianus); Antiquaries Journal 41, 1961,
      pp. 199-217 and plates XXXV-VIII, including five figures. Probably
      binding is Northumbrian of late seventh
      century / eighth century date. Depicts metal mounts,
      schematic drawings of both covers, the press-blech
      pattern (patterned metal foil made on a matrix), photos
      of front and back, mounts, detail of Hexham bucket
      (similar design), channel and cord inside the back board,
      reconstruction of the lower cover with mounts (this
      thing is tooled). several similar bookbinding mounts
      from three other finds, an Anglo-Saxon bookbinding
      stamp from Swanley, Kent (A round stamp with a short
      tang and a celtic knot style cross design), disposition
      of the stamps on the lower front cover, binding
      mechanism (channels cut in the front and back boards)
      shown diagrammatically, general and historical
      descriptions of the whole book.

      When I record a book's illustrations for future citations I
      tend to leave them all in when I am quoting. Anything I
      didn't write is usually in quotation marks.

      Master Magnus Malleus, OL, GDH, Manx, Regia.org © 2003 R.M. Howe
      *No reposting my writings to newsgroups, especially rec.org.sca, or
      the SCA-Universitas elist. I view this as violating copyright
      restrictions. As long as it's to reenactor or SCA -closed- subscriber
      based email lists or individuals I don't mind. It's meant to
      help people without aggravating me.* Inclusion, in the
      http://www.Florilegium.org, Atenveldt MoAS, or Regia’s Chronicle
      as always is permitted.

      It generally helps if you want to ask me a question to put an
      * in front of the subject line. I read by list, not by date
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