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Lower Cover Of The Binding, With Title-Piece And Chain Fitting, On A Volume Of Ralph Of Diceto's Minor Historical Works

Lower Cover Of The Binding, With Title-Piece And Chain Fitting, On A Volume Of Ralph Of Diceto's Minor Historical Works

Medium: Binding

Date: 1350

Shelfmark: Additional MS 40007

Item number: Binding

Length: 42.2

Width: 29.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

It was common in the Middle Ages for books to be stored lying flat, not standing on one edge. Stored like this, with the back cover facing upward, the obvious place to identify a book was not the spine, but on the lower cover itself. Usually the identification would consist of a note of the author and title, written on a piece of parchment nailed under a piece of translucent horn, held in place by nails. Here the inscription reads 'Cronica Rad. De Diceto', the same as on a flyleaf and the first page of the main text. At the lower edge is part of a copper hasp, used for chaining the book to a bookshelf. The boards are of oak, covered with two layers of alum-tawed skin: the upper layer may originally have been a chemise.

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