Published Books

Two books on the history of leather published in Portugal

I’m proud and honoured to inform that finally two books of mine were just published in Portugal.

“Ofícios do couro na Lisboa medieval”/“Leather trades in medieval Lisbon” comments several references and documents since Lisbon’s conquest from the Moors in 1147. The initial chapter deals with the  tanning process, the trade of sumac and tree bark, and the leather business; a full chapter is dedicated to shoemaking, where there were still some models and ways of working following Moorish methods; saddlery and gilt leather are the next chapters; another one is dedicated to the “correeiros” guild, which had at hands the making of different bags, sheaths, full leather shields, and carved cowhide for upholstery; small trades and other artefacts – fur garments, gloves, bookbinding, leggings, leather bottles, falconry and donkey saddles – are taken into account in the last chapter. Plenty of bibliographical references were used, and all is considered in the bibliography.

“Um document da Inquisição de Lisboa, de 1610”/“A document of the Inquisition of Lisbon, dated 1610” deals with the trial of Lourenço da Costa, a “mudéjar” from the ones of Grenade, born in Seville, slave of the gilt leather master Jerónimo Fernandes. By 11 years old, the lad was bought in Cordoba by a Lisbon gilt leather maker, and brought to Portugal. By 33 years old, the slave said few angry words against the Christian religion, as, being brought from the jail, he didn’t want to be kept once again with the owner, said to beat him and have him in chains. This is when the Inquisition process starts, and will last almost one year. I’ve also included a short history of gilt leather in Portugal. A shorter version of the trial was published in UK’s The Tool and Trades History Society “Newsletter” no. 96, Spring 2007, pages 24-27.

Both books were published in February 2009, by Editora Prefácio (Rua Bernardo Lima, 8 A – 1150-076 Lisbon – Portugal); the first one costs 12 €, and the second 9 €.


February 2009