Russian calf

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Horace, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    Another thread brought to my mind something I'd been discussing with the local cobbler.

    How did all that Russian calf they found sunk 'neath the sea preserve itself for so long?

    Was it the quality of the leather? For surely it would've rotted? Or was there some sort of oxygen that hadn't escaped during packing?

    Or, is it more likely, that it was just the formula that was preserved and I am extremely active in imagination to think the Russian calf being sold today is from the late 1700's?
     


  2. marc37

    marc37 Senior member

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    Salt preserves leather. The leather had to be rejuvenated alittle bit though. l would love to have a pair of shoes done in that raindeer leather. Just imagine, shoes made from 200 year old leather.

    That's all for now.
     


  3. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    So the salt from the leather preserved it? Or was the leather packed in salt or what?

    In any case, I have a hard time believing that it's possible. Which might say more about my ability to believe than the fact that what you say is true.
     


  4. chocoball

    chocoball Senior member

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    No, salt rots the leather, I would think, or turn it into reindeer jerky. I think it is beacuse the leather was packed well for the trip, and there is little free oxygen so deep underwater. that's why they were bringing up suitcases full of papers and stuff from the titanic. i want some too.....A Harris was talking about it early in the year, did he get any?? how about the replica stuff?
     


  5. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    So far, this seems reasonable to me. I'm going to call a friend who's a marine biologist and find out how the hell this is possible.
     


  6. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I haven't been able to buy any yet... [​IMG] There is a blurb somewhere about it being buried in airless mud, I think it's in Cleverley's catalogue. I'll have to check.
     


  7. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    Underwater environments are natures' time capsule. The adsence of oxygen and UV rays, combined with consistent cold temperatures (and many other things, I'm sure) preserve natural products, past certain depths. About 20 years ago, a niche in the hardwood lumber industry developed that re-claims old timber from deep lakes and waterways for processing into various high quality planks for use in high-end cabinetry and flooring. I'm sure the same principle applies here.
     


  8. von Rothbart

    von Rothbart Senior member

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    Spend a winter in New York and you'll know what salt can do to leather.
     


  9. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I understand that a lot of the logs that sunk in the great lakes and other norther lakes 50-100 years ago are now being pulled up and are quiet valuable.
     


  10. StreetLaw

    StreetLaw Well-Known Member

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    Not to send this thread off too far in another direction, but last month's issue of Fine Woodworking magazine (Nov/Dec) had a great article on the recovery of 50,000-60,000 year old wood for use in furniture.

    Makes 200 year old leather seem almost contemporary.
     


  11. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    I have read an article that postulates that one of the lost secrets of the violin makers of Cremona was that the wood that they were using for their violins was taken from the remains of an ancient Roman building. Apparently wood that is very old has unique properties that improve resonance and make it uniquely suitable for use in musical instruments. Some tests have been done on various Strads seem to indicate that the wood used to make these instruments was already very old when the craftsmen were making the violins.
     


  12. StreetLaw

    StreetLaw Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone heard, even generally, what kind of price these shoes will have?

    Are we talking hundreds or thousands?

    If they're not wholly unreasonable, I'd love to get a pair.
     


  13. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    There are, to the best of my knowlege, only two ways to get shoes made from this material. Cleverley makes them into bespoke shoes only, at a cost of around 1,500 GPB. They have a right of first refusal on all the skins, and so get the choicest cuts. New & Lingwood makes them RTW (I think under the Poulsen Skone name). There are three models and they charge 895 GPB. Here is a link: http://www.newandlingwood.com/iashop.....gory=13
     


  14. StreetLaw

    StreetLaw Well-Known Member

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    I think they reached the price where my wife wouldn't even need to think it over before saying no. Oh well.
     


  15. chocoball

    chocoball Senior member

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    Haha.....don't ask your wife then.
     


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