Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What I Want Now - Shagreen

Shagreen is the prepared skin of sea skates like the pearled sting ray. The skins are naturally covered with round, closely set scales, whose size is chiefly dependent on the age and size of the animal. These scales are ground down to give a roughened surface of rounded pale protrusions, between which dye (originally green was typically used but today anything goes) shows when the material is coloured from the other side. This latter form of shagreen was first popularized in Europe by Jean-Claude Galluchat a master leatherworker in the court of Louis XV. Those clever clever French. Today shagreen is on everything from small luxury goods to console tables, mirrors, even wallpaper.

 Close-up of Shagreen

Vintage English green Shagreen box available on 1st Dibs

Gold Shagreen and ebony table by Lamont

Shagreen cuffs by Charlotte Moss

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