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
Given by W.E Miller
Diameter: 20.0 cm
Height: 5.0 cm
Method of acquisition: Given (1929-10-31) by Miller, W. E.
1600 CE - 1700 CE
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.
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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Paten case" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/150665 Accessed: 2024-02-22 13:26:21
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