The skins of sharks and rays of the class Chondrichthyes have had various uses in furniture making and are often confused. Both types of skin are covered with raised horny 'pellicles' (dermal denticles). These contain osteodentin, a material resembling the dentin of teeth but having the mineralized tissue organized into a structure of tightly packed tubes. In shark skins these are quite small and sharp, and have made sharkskin useful as an abrasive for finishing woodwork. Ray skins, particularly the various stingray species of the family Dasyatidae, are covered with light coloured rounded polygons packed tightly together. These have been used to cover Japanese sword hilts with the pellicles left intact. In Europe, sting ray skins were ground down flat, and often dyed from the flesh side to produce a beautiful pearl-patterned material which was used to cover boxes and cases for high quality instruments. This 'shagreen' (also known as Galuchat after a French craftsman who excelled in its use) was used to cover furniture, particularly in French Art Deco style pieces such as those by Jacques Emile Ruhlman.
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