Shagreen is the untanned skin from shark or stingray. It displays an unusually rough and granular surface. It has initially been used for centuries in Asia to cover swords’ hilts or composite bows’ grips. Jean-Claude Galluchat, a master leatherworker in the court of Louis XV, first popularized the shagreen in Europe. There was a definite resurgence in items being made with shagreen during the 1920s and 1930s. The lean hard finish and traditional pale green tone lent itself very well to the modernist lines of the Art Deco style. French designers such as Jacques Adnet , Marcel Coard, Jean-Michel Frank, André GroultPaul Iribe or Clément Rousseau created sumptuous pieces of funiture or lighting covered with shagreen. Skilled craftsmen use shagreen to cover items such as luxury luggage, toilet cases, rare books as well as larger pieces of furniture.

Vosges manufactures in France bespoke shagreen furniture.

See also inspiring shagreen furniture on our Pinterest page