"After reading you for about a month and looking at your photos," wrote a reader named Kate earlier this week, "I've concluded ... You are simply a leather freak. You love leather. Period." Guilty as charged. While I wouldn't say I only love leather, there's no question that it's near the top of my list. If we judge love based on action and not mere sentiment, however, there is one man whose love I can't compete with in any way, shape, or form.
Vincent Ramirez has gone where no man has gone before, and he's taken his Cambridge Pitt Minion with him. Where? To world-famous Horween Leather in Chicago, perhaps the most exalted name in the tanning business. Horween has provided leather for top-drawer shoes, bags, and even footballs. But as far as I know, they've never provided the leather for a Bible binding.
Now they have.
And it's not just any leather, either. Vincent's Pitt Minion was rebound by Mechling Books using Horween's coveted #8 shell cordovan. For a certain type of leather lover, shell cordovan is the holy grail of hides. It comes from the "fibrous flat muscle (or shell) beneath the hide on the rump of the horse" (thanks, Wikipedia!) and "is prized for its toughness, longevity, and protective qualities." The way I've always heard it explained, shell's dense, smooth grain makes it very hard-wearing. Thanks to the way it takes dye -- somewhat unevenly -- you see fascinating color variation in shell cordovan as it ages.