Gospel-book with recycled binding


This copy of the Gospels was written in the 12th century in the Eastern Mediterranean. It includes decorated headpieces and initials, as well as additional liturgical texts. It is of most interest now, however, for its cover. The binding is a reused board, to which the textblock is secured by the > shaped sewings. However, the board also has unused holes and channels for a zig-zag board sewing to provide hinging loops.  The lowest visible pair of holes has been marked up, but the channel not cut.  This may suggest that the binder changed his mind at the last moment, or perhaps these boards were lying around, half-finished, for some other book.

The manuscript was owned by the Karakallou Monastery on Mount Athos, whence it was acquired by Robert Curzon, 14th Baron Zouche, in 1837. It was bequeathed to the British Museum by Darea Curzon, Baroness Zouche, in 1917.

Full title:
Gospel-book with recycled binding
12th century
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Add MS 39593

Full catalogue details

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