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Found this on a forum.
Finally I ordered 2 sheets of shell cordovan from Japan...They will ship them to me this week, hope I will get them next week.
I will compare it with the shell I ordered from Horween.
It is very diffcult to order stuff from Japan. Hope that the leather is good.
They are much much cheaper than Horween charge.
No, this is Japanese shell from Shinki-Hikaku. As someone that has owned both, I think they're definitely comparable in quality. They feel slightly different but both have that signature shell feel. The Shinki also sometimes has a slightly mottled look, which I like a lot. FWIW, if this wallet was made of Horween it would cost at least twice as much and would be either black or #8, not this rare shade of caramel brown.
I haven't the slightest idea about most of what you said but I want to know more. Know of any good into guides to this world?
Shell cordovan is a very prized (and expensive) tanned hide that comes from the rump of a horse. It's known for its thick, waxy feel, deep color and shine, and resistance to wrinkling. Because it only comes in small quantities, it's usually in high demand (thus the limited number on this drop). You can read more about shell cordovan here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_cordovan
Horween is the most famed tannery for cordovan, but certainly not the only one. Shinki-Hikaku is the other big provider of shell, although it's much less well-known. I'd say Horween is the mainstream trusted "gold standard" and Shinki is the more obscure "I knew about it before it was cool" choice. IMO they are of comparable quality, but that's somewhat subjective. Horween also has a much more limited range of colors currently, mostly black and burgundy. Horween is also much more expensive, which makes the price of this drop all the more uncommon. Small cordovan leather goods are usually in the $150-$400 range.