Leather-lined chests, boxes and trunks were commonplace in medieval times. In Catalonia, there are documentary references to “encuyrat” chests from 1321, “cuyrats i barrats” chests from 1395 and fur-lined chests from 1414.
Chests lined with leather or hide, usually with rounded tops and iron reinforcements and handles, were particularly suitable for transportation; the leather protected the wood and the contents from the weather. The rounded top made the rainwater run off, the iron supports gave it strength and the handles made it easier to carry. They generally also had a lock to avoid possible theft.
After the 16th century, the sumptuous desk appeared with sets of drawers for small personal valuables. They might be lined in leather on the inside and out, and sometimes only the fronts of the drawers and the interior side of the cover were lined. The leather, which was usually decorated in gilt work, served to both protect and decorate these kinds of desks.