| What is CUOI D'ORO ? – It's one of the art techniques to make leather
craft, which is to tan, plate it with leaves of special metal, then make
embossed pattern using metal molds, and finally dying it. Sandro Botticelli,
a great artist from Florence expanded this technique to the level of an
art. There were very similar techniques from before but we can say that
his CUOI D'ORO was the one to scale the heights of leather craftworks.
Botticelli invented CUOI D'ORO as an alternative to fresco or tempera for decorating walls, and therefore it has 2 special features.
One is that it is durable enough to be used for construction. Botticelli
would have never expected it but CUOI D'ORO which he made has survived
for 500 years and still looks perfect.
Another is that it had to be big enough to decorate all over the wall. Of
course the size of one leather sheet is limited, so he invented the technique
to produce multiple pieces from one mold. This new technique was accepted
by noble families and authorities including Medici, and was used to decorate
many different walls of palaces and temples for the next 300 years.
Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello Sanzio and Vermeer were also known for producing
some great works of CUOI D' ORO.
However, CUOI D'ORO's history ended about 200 years ago. People started
using new kind of varnish, which did not allow metallic leaf to adhere
leather, and so they had to use gold powder as a substitute. It caused
a gradual drop in quality of CUOI D'ORO, and it disappeared completely
by the end of Rococo period.
However, it once regained its spotlight in Japan from Meiji through Taishou
CUOI D'ORO decorated many walls of palaces and temples in Europe for a
long time, but they were torn off and sold when they rebuilt and renovated
the buildings. You can still see a part of them in museums of different
countries in Europe, but most of them were bought by Japanese people, cut
up in small pieces, then made into bags and other small items, and sold
as "KINKARAKAWA" (means European gold leather). "KINKARAKAWA"
became a rage, but it lasted only for 50 years, until the beginning of
Taishou period with a very simple reason, - they had ran out of the material
Then, most of the "KINKARAKAWA" products did not survive through
earthquake disasters and the World Wars.
And now, CUOI D'ORO is coming back in Japan again. Hikonosuke Tokuriki,
a great artist in Kyoto, rediscovered CUOI D'ORO, and by analyzing the
chips of old CUOI D'ORO chemically, the found out there were differences
between the pieces from their country and period of origin.
They also found the origin of CUOI D'ORO after 50 years of researching
and analyzing, and succeeded in reproducing CUOI D'ORO of the same quality
or of even better quality.
Now is the time that we reintroduce "CUOI D'ORO" to the world
again after 500 years.
So let us present "CUOI D'ORO" once more to you all, the magnetic Golden Leather craft restoring the great spirit of Botticelli, who perfected it to a fine art 500 years ago.