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Paten case: M.33 & A-1929

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown




Circular, boiled leather box for holding a paten, stamped 'IHS'

Boiled, stamped and engraved leather (cuir bouilli) covering carved wood, lined with paper. Circular with flat pull-off lid (A). The centre of the top of the lid is stamped with the Sacred Monogram 'IHS' within a sunburst, surrounded by borders of scrolling foliage and diaperwork. There are two loops on the side of the lid and part of a strap underneath, which may have attached to a drum-shaped case to hold a communion cup. The interior of the base is shaped to hold the paten. The (later?) paste paper lining is wood block printed with cream coloured flowers and leaves against a faded olive green background, which shows signs of originally having been a mid blue.


History note: Not known before donor

Legal notes

Given by W.E Miller

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 20.0 cm
Height: 5.0 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1929-10-31) by Miller, W. E.


17th Century#
1600 CE - 1700 CE

Components of the work

Lining composed of paper
Surface composed of leather

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Cuir bouilli : There is much conjecture on how 'boiled leather' or 'cuir bouilli' was made and whether the leather was boiled in water. The most popular theory is the one suggested in 'La Grande Encyclopedie (Paris 1887-1905) in which: 'pieces of leather must be boiled in wax mixed with resin and glue. Once boiled in this manner, the leather preserves, whilst it is moist, sufficient pliability to enable it to be moulded, and when it is dry it possess a hardness and rigidity nearly equal to that of wood to which it is preferable by reason of its lightness.' The stamped and engraved decoration would have been added before the leather was dried.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: IHS
  • Location: On the centre of the lid
  • Method of creation: Stamped
  • Type: Monogram
  • Text: 7475 / 2527 / EYY
  • Location: On the inside of the lid
  • Method of creation: Printed and written in black ink, and stuck with glue
  • Type: Paper label
  • Text: Circular box for holding a Paten / There has probably been a drum attached / beneath to hold the cup. M.33-1929
  • Location: Loose inside the box
  • Method of creation: Rectangular card, written in black ink
  • Type: Paper label
  • Text: 33/'29 / 1
  • Location: Loose inside the box
  • Method of creation: Octagonal tag, written in black ink
  • Type: Paper tie on label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.33 & A-1929
Primary reference Number: 150665
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 14 February 2017 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Paten case" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-22 13:26:21

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{{cite web|url= |title=Paten case |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-02-22 13:26:21|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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