Gilded and stamped leathers. France, probably Rhone Valley, Avignon.
H. 165 - W. 100 per unit.
Cordoba leathers" were important decorative elements in royal residences, which they progressively decorated during the 16th century and throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Few examples remain today in French public collections, and leather panels have almost completely disappeared from the places they once adorned, even though they were not just ornaments intended for vestibules and passageways, but real decorative programmes devised by their renowned craftsmen. The simultaneous disappearance of the use of leather panels simultaneously throughout Europe at the end of the 18th century and their difficult conservation have made them rare.
Despite being called "Cordoba leather", they were rarely produced in Spain, except for the first models from the 16th century. Manufacturers then took over the technique in France, Germany, England and the Netherlands. Each production centre had its own characteristics and the use of different techniques developed over the centuries.
In France, the first workshops were created in Paris under the impetus of Henri IV, and then certain centres specialised in this production: in the North with Rouen and Lille, and along the Rhone valley in Lyon, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Avignon. The latter is the best known and whose creations are best recorded in Raymond Boissier's catalogue published in 1712.
The gilded leathers of Avignon were very well known.