Key Fob in 1786 ‘Russia Hide’ (MAM120B)
Key Fob in 1786 ‘Russia Hide’ by MacGregor and Michael
Size: 100mm x 30mm
This key fob has been made from 'Russia' leather recovered from the Metta Catharina. Hand stitched in linen with goatskin lining
On the 10th December 1786, the Danish Brigantine Metta Catharina laden with hemp and “Russia” leather was dashed against the rocks of Drakes Island in Plymouth Sound and sank. In 1973, divers located the wreck 30m down on the seabed. Littered around it were bundles of hides. Subsequent research confirmed that this leather, remarkably preserved in the cold black mud, tanned traditionally with willow bark and curried with birch oil, had survived due to the expertise of the St Petersburg tanners. The unique grain pattern and distinctive aroma of this beautiful leather can be appreciated and experienced 200 years after it was made.
Neil MacGregor and Valerie Michael began their leather working careers in Bristol in 1971, moving out to Tetbury, in 1974.
Everything is individually made to the highest standards of craftsmanship using leathers, threads and metal fittings which compliment the work, all made by hand, including the stitching. Their designs aim to reveal the unique qualities of leather and the value of craftsmanship. Over the years they have fine-tuned their skills through a combination of experience, experimentation and research.