The Leather Hangings

The leather hangings

Of international significance and the only collection of their type in the United Kingdom, these painted leather hangings are arguably the rarest and most important pieces in Dunster’s collection.

Telling the love story of Antony and Cleopatra, a tale made famous by Shakespeare they are made of calf-skin, embossed and painted to give a three dimensional appearance.

Probably made in the Netherlands in the late 1600’s the leather hangings were not originally made for Dunster but instead were altered at some point in order to fit the room they are currently hung in.

First hung here sometime between 1701 and 1741 they have been cut and moved in order to fit the available space.

Leather hangings were often chosen for dining rooms over the more traditional tapestry’s as unlike fabric leather doesn’t retain food smells.

Repaired in 1759 they were re-hung in the 1870’s and have remained on display ever since.