Leather wallpaper is a type of wallpaper used in various styles for wall covering. It is often referred to as wrought leather. It is often gilded, painted and decorated. With the advent of wallpaper use from about 1650-1750, leather was used to cover and decorate sections of walls in the habitations of wealthy persons. Leather is pliable and could be decorated in various ways.
Embossed wall coverings made to imitate antique embossed leather include Tynecastle, or Modeled Canvas. It was developed and patented in 1874 by designer W. Scott Morton (1840-1903). It was made by hand pressing canvas into carved wooden molds and dry it. It was colored after it was stuck to the wall.
Japanese Leather Paper imitates embossed leather. It is crafted from sheets of handmade paper pressed together. It is then embossed and gilded with the field color stenciled on it. A coat of lacquer was added to protect it and create a sheen.
During the colonial period in the United States, embossed leather panels were occasionally used as an accent, as a dado, on a screen, or above a chimney. In the last quarter of the 19th century, leather panels were revived and used in select rooms of mansions such as libraries. Introduced in the 1860s as "oil leather papers", the coverings later became known as "leather paper" and were offered in catalogs from Paul Balin in Paris' Birge in Buffalo, New York; and Jeffrey & Co. and Woollams & Co.. They included embossing, gild and painted finishes designed to imitate leather wallpaper and were used to line furniture and cabinets. Their use continued in fancy homes of the late 19th and early 20th century decorating Lincrusta and Anaglypta were competing products . Leather papers were often made up of a series of paper laminates which were forced into shape with a mold, while Lincrusta is a patented composite material, and Anaglypta is a simthat were not designed to look like leather wallpaper. Rottman, Strome & Co. became a major producer based in England with manufacturing in Japan. Lutson Goudleder made the imitation leather coverings in southern France and they were also made in Poland.
Structures with leather wallpaper include:
- Ginter House
- Djursholm Castle
- Loreto Abbey at Rathfarnham
- Ehreshoven Castle
- Town Hall of Bremen (Cuir de Cordoue)
- Oranienbaum Palace
- Moritzburg Castle (painted leather wallpaper)
- Metlife Insurance Company Building boardroom
- Cuir de Cordoue
- Lincrusta (Lincrusta Walton)
- Flock wallpaper
- Charles R. Yandell, American craftsman
- "Gilt Leather Hangings In Chinoiserie and Other Styles: An English Speciality" Furniture History 36 (2000): 61-101
- Historical wall coverings and wallpaper restoration by Paul Bramley ISS Institute/ Tafe Fellowship