Rare Metta Catharina 1786 Russian leather wallet


200-year-old rare Russian Reindeer leather is used to make this man’s unique wallet. With six credit card slots, two notes compartments, a world map lining, this wallet has it’s own lifestory.  Perfect gift for the guy who craves history.

1 in stock


This wallet is historic… it’s made from Russian Reindeer leather over 200 years old, that was rescued from a sunken ship in the mud of Plymouth Sound.

In 1786, the Die Frau Metta Catherina, a 53-ton ship bound from St. Petersburg to Genoa was carrying a cargo of hemp and leather. The ship anchored in Plymouth Sound due to bad weather, but the storm was so strong it ripped across the harbour, and the ship sank 100 feet into the bottom of the estuary. You’ll be pleased to know the cargo was lost, though the crew were saved.

Fast forward to 1973 when the wreck of Metta Catharina was discovered by the  boys at the Plymouth Diving Club. They found the ship’s bell, and also bundles of leather hides. The leather was carefully restored to its former state and Stephanie has had the privilege of purchasing some of the prestigious and historic hides.

The hides are reindeer, treated by a secret Russian process, typical of luxurious leather of the time. St. Petersburg artisans used willow bark for tanning, dressed with birch oil – which gives the leather a very intoxicating smell. (Webmaster here… this is true, I have been caught sniffing the Russian leather, and its wonderful)

The leather is hand- embossed with a crosshatched grain, making this hide long-lasting, water-resistant and even insect-repellent. No flies on this wallet then.

This half-wallet would be a great present for people who savour history or for the man who has everything. You’ll appreciate these wallets are a very limited edition until supplies run out, and when they do, that’s it.

  • Dimensions: Half wallets: 4″ x 3.75″
  • Six credit card slots which are made with a different leather, that is finer, and  adds strength to the  older leather
  • Two notes compartments
  • Two pockets behind credit cards for receipts, photos, etc
  • Lined in a silky moire fabric and a cotton lining depicting old-world map