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Note (en)
A somewhat obscure and ambiguous term which seems to have been used at different times for very different materials. The word, along with its French and German equivalent, chagrin, was used for an untanned skin made in the lands around the Caspian Sea from the untanned butt of the ass or donkey covered in a random mass of small pimples. They were made by spreading very small hard seeds over the hairside of stretched, moist skins, covering the skins with a cloth, and trampling the seeds into the skins. When the skins were dry the seeds were shaken off, leaving the surface covered with small indentations. The skins were then shaved on the fleshside and soaked in water, causing the crushed skin under the indentations made by the seeds to swell and so create the pimples. The skins, almost always stained black, were clearly expensive and were used by bookbinders in the 17th and 18th centuries primarily on up-market almanacs and small-format liturgica (and, in the Netherlands, quarto bibles), usually blind-tooled (very rarely with gold-tooling) and often with silver furniture and clasps. An imitation covering material, made from rather fibrous, soft, tanned skins, would appear to have been manufactured in Europe in imitation of the original, but the pimples were created by an embossing process with the pimples often arranged in regular, repeating, fan-shaped patterns, rather than the entirely random arrangement of the seeds. The imitation version is not as hard-wearing and long-lasting as the original, and often loses its grain layer.
Confusingly, the term was also applied historically to the skins of sharks and ray, the latter of which are covered with round, closely set, calcified papillae resembling small pearls, which were ground flat and smooth, leaving only the pattern of small contiguous white circles, the spaces in between which were stained from the fleshside of the skin. It was used for a variety of purposes, including covering small boxes and instrument cases, but rarely, if ever, for bookbinding. This, however, is the skin which is now known as "shagreen".
Note (nb)
skinn av geit- eller fÄreskinn med kornet overflate brukt som bokbind
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