Eighteenth Century Painted Leather Screen
Restored by Aga Sawczuk for Foster & Gane
This project presented us with a variety of problems, not least to decide what the item was. We knew it had come from a distinguished country house and that it had been used as a screen. However, there were one or two puzzles.
The leather paintings seemed to be earlier than the screen frames. Also, the main decorative areas of the design were at a low level, meaning they would be obscured in use.
After consulting with various sources we are fairly confident that they are actually fragments from eighteenth century leather wallhangings. Possibly they were the remnants of a decorative scheme and were turned into a screen at a later date.
Whatever the origin they presented a challenge.
There were tears and losses and the leather had become brittle and shrunk. The pictures on the left illustrate some the problems we had.
Aga Sawczuk undertook the work in consultation with the client and the results can be seen on the right. The screens were relined and the jigsaw of pieces fixed in place. A decision was made to not replace the missing leather but to leave the backing showing in these areas. The leather was carefully treated and cleaned to reveal the beauty of the original paintings. The results are stunning.