Shagreen & Parchment

In the workshop, organized along the same lines as Ruhlmann’s own, works in progress sit like butterflies in their chrysalises; here, at a small worktable, brass feet are being handmade one at a time, each as pure in form as a Brancusi.

Jack Forster,
Forbes Life

ShagreenPageTopShagreen (stingray skin), goat skin (parchment), sheep skin (vellum) and other Exotic hides were commonly used at the height of the Art Deco furniture movement in Paris from 1915 to 1936.

The use of these rare skins demands technical skill that is not common today. We have worked with these materials for nearly two decades and have mastered the obscure methods required to deliver perfection in the finished product. Effectively the techniques used today are no different than those used 80 years ago.

All of the raw materials are certified and acquired legally from many sources across the globe. We select the finest raw hides and tanned hides and hand pick them for proper color match. We then use the best hide glues and fish glues to adhere them to the furniture.

When these exotic hides are employed, the finished product makes use of the subtle differences in natural skin tones to provide an elegant, monochromatic look. They also create a luxurious surface with an incomparable feel.

Leathers and Skins

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