History of Embossed Leather

Embossed, gilded and painted leather panels were popular throughout Europe from the late Middle Ages to the early 20th century with the first and most important centre of production in Córdoba, Spain.
Córdoba had a flourishing leather industry, and cordovan leather became famous all over the world. One writer on visiting Córdoba mentions that the cordovan craftsmen "made huge leather cordovans to cover entire walls with a surface embossed with rich designs on wooden moulds and then gilded like book-covers".
The influence of decorated leathers spread north, with centres of production being established in France and the Low Countries (the majority of surviving antique leather panels are usually either Flemish or Dutch.
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