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Instrument case: M.36 & A-1929

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown




Boiled leather case for holding instruments with seven internal compartments; decorated with stamped and engraved borders

Boiled, stamped and engraved leather (cuir bouilli) case, with seven internal compartments. The domed pull-off lid and tapering body have two suspension loops on each side, through which a cord would have been threaded. The case is decorated with borders of diaperwork and scrolling foliage on a matted ground.


History note: The Fitzhenry Collection

Legal notes

Given by W.E Miller

Measurements and weight

Height: 3.4 cm
Length: 10.8 cm
Width: 3.6 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


16th Century, Mid-17th Century#
1550 - 1650

School or Style


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: ON LOAN FROM / Fitzhenry / 15th Sept 1897
  • Location: Inside the lid
  • Method of creation: Printed and written in black ink, and stuck with glue
  • Type: Paper label
  • Text: Case for instruments
  • Location: Loose inside the case
  • Method of creation: Rectangular card, written in black ink
  • Type: Paper label
  • Text: 36/29 / 4
  • Location: Tied to the lid
  • Method of creation: Rectangular green tag, written in blue ink
  • Type: Paper label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.36 & A-1929
Primary reference Number: 150667
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 11 August 2015 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) "Instrument case" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-23 01:52:26

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{{cite web|url= |title=Instrument case |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-23 01:52:26|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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