Shagreen is a fish skin (in particular shark or ray skin) used in cabinet making.
The use of fish skins dates from long ago in history. In Europe, the first traces known date back to the XVth and XVIth centuries. Shagreen skin, also named shark skin, is called "galuchat" in French, due to jean-Claude Galluchat who was King's Louis XVth master in girdles making, was the first one in France to use this rare and mysterious material to make and cover prestigious objects. But the very first fish skins-cased items were found in the Far East, since the VIIIth century in Japan: inros (little cases for medicinal cure hanged up on belts), breastplates, sabers hilts and sheathes).This work can also be found at the XVth century on trunks and boxes in Korea, In China and in Tibet. Actually the most well-known shagreen skin is the one from Thailand. Some young designers also use it in leather trade.