Fifteenth-century Germanic binding

Board-attachment lacing patterns from the early middle ages onwards are enormously varied, and carry within them the possibility of identifying national, local and even workshop provenances. Chris found this example, with its very distinctive lacing pattern, on a fifteenth-century Germanic binding on a manuscript copy of Jacopo de Voragine, Sermones de tempore with oak boards covered in pink-stained alum-tawed skin. The bookblock was sewn on three double and two single cord sewing supports, with separately-sewn endbands and has seven entry holes where the slips are laced into the boards and only three exit holes, where the slips were secured with wooden pegs. Any other example with the same lacing pattern is likely to come from the same workshop.

Nicholas Pickwoad

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