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Stratum plus. 2005-2009. №5

A. V. Kurbatov (St.-Petersburg, Russia)

Tools and Appliances for Leather Work in Medieval Russia

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Pages: 284-310

The author reviews archaeological, written and graphic sources on Russian leather industry, which hold accounts of every tool, appliance and equipment used to tailor and sew leather articles. This complex approach enables a rather precise timing of appearance of specific leather articles in daily use. Besides, it allows attributing a number of archaeological finds. Thus, in the large collections of archaeological finds from strata of medieval towns one can distinguish series of leather articles that were used as a sort of thimbles by the ancient urban population. Similarly, distinction is possible in case of aprons, linings under pattern cutting, etc. The author defines the purpose, time and area of use of such groups of archaeological finds as tailor knives, awls, patterns, wooden shoe lasts. In this regard, patterns are a very good illustration. Analysis of scarce written accounts, their comparison with rare finds of ‘patterns’ in strata of medieval Russian towns allow considering them a sort of ‘manuals’ to be demonstrated to pupils and apprentices. Iron ‘patterns’ must be regarded as special appliances used for driving wooden pegs and iron nails into soles.

Keywords: Leather Work, Russian leather industry,


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