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leather-boxes-bib - 7/28/09


A bibliography on leather boxes and leather-covered wooden boxes by Master Magnus Malleus, OL, GDH.


NOTE: See also the files: caskets-boxes-bib, caskets-boxes-msg, chests-msg, 6-board-chest-art, furniture-msg, wood-msg, leather-msg, Lea-Hardware-art, leather-bib.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 15:02:00 -0500

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

Subject: Re: Leather Boxes and Caskets


> I'm looking for any information dealing with the construction of boxes

made from leather or wooden boxes covered with leather.

- thanks, Rolf the Blunt <


Okay, this is an item of mild interest to me so I'll give you a start...




: Deutsches Ledermuseum: Kunsthandwerk, Volkskunde, Völkerkunde, Fachtechnik; Deutsches Schuhmuseum; 2.Aufl. Offenbach am Main, 1961. 154 pp. 58 ills.


Berger, Ewald: Prunk-Kassetten, Europaische Meisterwerke aus Acht Jahrhunderten, Ornamental Caskets, 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 3-925369-83-X   $110. Bestand katloge der Hanns Schell collection; Bd 1. (to be followed by others on cast iron objects, locks and keys, forged steel objects, and guild emblems.) Pp. 336, approximately 500 illustrations.


Berger, Ewald: Ornamental Coffers; Eight Centuries of European Craftsmanship  ISBN: 392536983X  Arnoldsche Verlaganstalt GmbH, Jan.1999, US 110.00


Blair, John, and Nigel Ramsey: English Medieval Industries; 1992. An overview of the current level of knowledge in a number of disciplines, including wood, leather, fabric, and pewter casting. Has some small discussion on the matter.

Buckley, J.J.: Some Early Ornamented Leatherwork. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland vol. XLV, part IV, 1915. pp.300-309 (Cumdachs and Polaires: Medieval Irish Book Shrines  and Book Satchels)


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 Caskets" Archaeologica 107 (1982): 131-40.


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.


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. A few early ones, many from around 1600.


  On the subject of shoes, it has only a shoe foot reliquary, and I don't recall any saddles. The entries are from many different museums and countries.


- There are a number of differently styled leather bottels than we are used to seeing although there is a short section on English style jacks, bombards, and costrels.

- There are cases for silver and crystal cups, one particularly fine piece is a leather cover for a fully rigged silver ship centerpiece, masts, flags, rigging and all.

- There are some knife scabbards but no sword scabbards except for                                   a case for a sword of state.

- A few of the pieces are religious. Most are secular. The majority of the book is simply masterpiece quality work.

- A number of the pieces such as the shields and caskets are illustrated from more than one view, in the case of the caskets usually front and back or front and top, but not ends. I was very impressed with the number of leather caskets in it. The majority of this book is later Middle Ages and Renaissance and the material seems to end about 1920, but there is very little modern work in it. This is one of the ultimate books on the subject.


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, 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.


Kup, Karl. "Notes on a Fifteenth-Century Cofferet" Connoisseur 140 (1957): 62-66.


Leland, Charles G.: Leather Tooling; Sterling Publishing Co. New York, 1975. Oak Tree Press, London and Sydney. Various dates. First published as Leather Work: A Practical Manual for Learners in England, 1892.


Not much on caskets or trunks but really excellent on tooling and full of medievally inspired designs. Excellent on the subject.


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: Leather as Art and Craft: ISBN 0 517 505754, there is a photo of a leather covered box from 15th C. Italy from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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. By someone who has a large collection and remakes them.


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. Includes cofferers.


Snyder, W.E.: The Leathercraftsman. A Textbook on Leatherwork ; Worchester: American Handicrafts, (1936). cloth, gilt lettering, 176pp., Includes; A Brief History of Leather, Leathercraft Through the Ages, Construction and Decorating, Tools, Lacing, Steps in making a leathercraft article etc., etc., Illustrations, index.


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 Talbot Casket and Related Late Medieval Leather Caskets by John Cherry; 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.


Stohlman, Al and Ann: The Art of Making Leather Cases Volumes I, II, and III. Tandy Leather, various dates. Modern techniques. Modern finish.


Underhill, Roy: [Video] The Williamsburg Trunkmaker. Woodwright's Shop Series. WUNC-TV, Chapel Hill, NC. Mostly on other techniques of hand leatherwork but includes some discussion of chests and coffers, notably including that the wood was not nailed together but glued until the tacks holding the leather were driven in.


Waterer, John William. "Irish Book-Satchels or Budgets";  Medieval Archaeology, Vol. XII, 1968, pp. 70-82., 13pp, 4figs, 4 b/w plates IV-VII.


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 William: Leather and Craftsmanship; Faber & Faber LTD., London, 66pp, 32 pls, 1950.


Waterer, John William: Leather Craftsmanship; Frederick A. Praeger, Publishers, New York and Washington, 1968. Published in England by G. Bell and Sons, Ltd., London. Better than below for this purpose.


Waterer, John W: Leather in Life, Art and Industry; London. Faber & Faber Ltd.; 1946. 320 pp., Frontis, 110 plates, & a further 20 illustrations in the text. With forewords by Sir Charles Tennyson and George W. Odey. "An outline of its preparation and uses in Britain yesterday and today together with some reflections on its place in the world of synthetics tomorrow." Brief mentions of caskets/trunks.


Waterer, John William. "A Historical Forcer."; Connoisseur 134 (1954): 189-191. A Forcer is a casket.


Waterer has another on Spanish Leather that is supposed to include it's use on caskets but it is primarily concerned with embossed late period leather used on walls, furniture, etc.


Will that do for a start? I'm afraid I don't have any more time to search through diverse tomes today... :)


(c) Master Magnus Malleus, OL, GDH

   Windmasters' Hill, Atlantia


May be forwarded to sca or re-enactor email lists, but NOT to the Rialto (rec.org.sca) or ANY other newsgroup.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org