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Subject: Japanese leather

Japanese leather

From: Konstanze Bachmann <bachmko>
Date: Thursday, January 24, 2002
Susan L. Maltby <susan.maltby [at] utoronto__ca> writes

>I am currently investigating early interior finishes for an 1889
>building.  A period newspaper article describes the walls as being
>covered with "Japanese leather".  This is a term that I am not
>familiar with.

In brief, this "leather" is actually wallpaper, first imported
during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), Rottman Strome and Co. sold
them in Europe; the papers were produced in Yokohama and Tokyo.
Basically a number of layers of paper--different quality for
different papers and times were embossed (some not "hollow," but
padded out. some colors are stencilled, others are painted. The
papers are "lacquered"--have not done an analysis, but the solvent
is alcohol--this and the date suggest a natural resin.

A superb essay dealing with this type of material is found in:

    Felicity L. Leung. "Japanese Wallpaper in Canada, 1880s-1930s",
    Material History Bulletin, 28 (fall/1988), pp 35 -42.

Katsuhiko Masuda (Fax: +81 3 3828 2434), Tokyo  National Research
Institute of Cultural Properties, is doing research on this

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:52
                Distributed: Thursday, January 24, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-52-002
Received on Thursday, 24 January, 2002

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