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My research all points towards this series of 5 embossed, painted and gold gilded panels having originally been an antependium in a chateau chapel.
Dating to c 1750, I bought them from a specialist in antique religious items, and there is still at least one chapel in this area of France with an antependium of Cuir de Cordoue in place. People kneeling before the altar would be directly in front of the splender of these gold leather panels when attending communion.
The name 'Cuire de Courdoue' ( also known as 'cordwain' 'cordovan' or 'goudleer') comes from Cordoba in Spain, where this technique of embossing and painting leather was originally practised in Europe.
Having discussed this with industry experts who still make such panels today, these were of the highest quality when they were made, and the condition of the gold is testament to this - it is still incredibly brilliant today. It is likely that they were made in Holland or Belgium, and from their rococo style we can date them to c1750.
The panels are currently pinned to simple white backgrounds with holes allowing the back of the leather to breath, and also to be seen from behind. I find the rear of the leather of great beauty too, it shows the age and some repairs that have been made at some point in their history.
4 of the panels are the same size and one is slightly smaller. When you would like more information or photos, please email me at Sean@ChateanAntiques.com and I'll prepare the full information for you.
Sizes* -83 cms x 75 or 30" x 23" each x 5 pieces /
Unpacked Weight* - xx grams
Date* - c 1750
Manufacturer - xx
Country - France
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