Anything made from G.J. Cleverley is a masterpiece at the pinnacle of craftsmanship. But their accessories cut from Russian Reindeer Hides are truly exceptional for many reasons. The pre-revolutionary hides of the unique look and resilient durability are so much more than beautiful they are rich in history.
A fierce storm brought down the Danish Brigantine “Christina” carrying leather and hemp December 10, 1786. The ship destined for Genoa sank off the coast of Plymouth, England where the hides would rest until 1973, nearly 200 years later, to be discovered by a group of amateur divers. Extraordinary luck and layers of sand preserved these leathers from deteriorating from salt water.
“The way leather was worked by the Russian tanners was an art form,” Mr. Carnera of G.J. Cleverley said. “They were laid in pits for a long period of time and tanned using only natural vegetable oils.” They had been cured in baths of rye or oat flour and yeast, hand embossed with a varied cross-hatching before being soaked in wood liquor, hand carried and then soaked in seal oil and birch tan oil. The result is a unique finish that cannot be replicated.
Cut from 200-year-old Russian Reindeer leather, these are some of our favorite holiday gifts. Each rare and elegant accessory is handmade in London by G. J. Cleverley.
Source material and additional stories of these exclusive leather hides:
A 200-Year-Old Gift From Under The Sea
Lace-Up a Bit of History