In the 15th century earlier manuscripts thought to be no longer useful were often cut up and re-used in the binding process. Here part of an earlier manuscript strengthens the spine. The pigskin, which covers the spine and comes partly over the dark leather covers, is a later addition.
The volume originally fastened with a single clasp at the fore-edge and two holes can be seen where the catchplate for the clasp was attached, with the remains of a strap on the lower cover. The holes in the centre and towards the corners of both covers provide evidence of bosses (raised metal studs), which originally served to protect the book from dirt and rubbing.
Purchased by the Alexander Turnbull Library in 1948 from Francis Edwards, London.
Upper cover and spine of Joannes Baptista Gratia Dei, De confutatione hebraicae sectae (Strassburg: Martin Flach (Printer of Strassburg), 20 Sept. 1500). RInc GRATIA De 1500.