Masterpiece of craftmanship.
Although cordovans were quite popular in the 17th and 18th century Western Europe, today we can see them only at museums and historic interiors. In the current age of virtually unlimited possibilities of production, we begin to long for what is handcrafted without haste but with highest regard for esthetic values. In the search for timeless natural beauty we turn to materials and techniques from the past. Cordovans instantly impressed us as works of applied art in which the talent and effort of the maker molds with the noble materials he uses to give the experience of real luxury.
What are the cordovans made in our workshop?
We were able to master the production technology thanks to the conservation conducted in the 1990’ on the cordovans from the Wawel Royal Castle collection. This technology is to the highest presently achievable extent compliant with the 17th century practice. Several of its key aspects are:
Natural vegetable-tanned calf leather. It is hard to obtain. Two tanneries (in Poland and Scotland) occasionally, and only for our needs, run a tanning process without the use of current industrial tanning methods.
Layer of genuine silver flake. It is common these days to apply heat pressing to leather and at the same time cover it with aluminum foil that imitates silver layer. Thanks to years of experience in art conservation, we are able to carry out argentation in precisely the same way as it was done centuries ago.
Varnish. Burning the midnight oil over the old formulas on preparing varnish for the finest gilding effect.
Hand painting with the use of transparent oil paint for glazes.
Elegant patina. A cordovan best presents its beauty and refinement after years of use when the intense colors get a bit dimmer and the top layers get worn out. If a client would like to recreate this effect, we would again employ our experience in art conservation to make the leather look like a historical work of art.