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Re: unpleasant leathers



At 08:41 AM 4/17/98 -0400, you wrote:
>  We have one book which may be bound in human skin in our collection.
>Aside from the ethics of how to store and handle such a thing, and its
>cultural overtones be they the medieval one of the saintly relic or the
>more modern one of holocaust, the fact remains that it is very ugly
>looking stuff.  If the Dard Hunter story is to a varying degree true, on
>the basis of our example I would say the binder would hardly have found
>it attractive leather.  We also have some odd bindings that appear to be
>unusual leathers, perhaps such things as ray or shark or seal, but I
>don't think they were used for their visual appeal, just happened to be
>what the binder could get.  I did use sand shark on a few things, found
>it very interesting in its visual effect because it has a very deep
>grain that resembles gnarled tree bark.  It was very hard to pare,
>though, and impossible to spokeshave.  Exotic (that is unusual) leathers
>should be purchased with caution since they have unusual and unexpected
>properties.
>  Dorothy Africa
>
I own a piece of tanned human skin. (My understanding is that it comes from
the lower back of an adult male.) It is not something I would want to use
for binding, even apart from any possible moral or ethical considerations.
It is brittle, has an irregular grain and is really quite ugly. Elaine


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