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German binding, 15th century | by National Library NZ on The Commons
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German binding, 15th century

Monasteries and religious houses are by tradition associated with learning. The monastic revival in the first half of the 15th century, with its emphasis on study, stimulated the formation of monastic libraries and by implication the binding of books. Many of these bindings are blind tooled with lines and small stamps often featuring birds and animals.


This volume, originally held in the 15th-century library of the Carthusian monastery, Marienburg near Dülmen, was probably bound in the monastery's bindery. On the spine is the library's distinctive manuscript title and shelf mark. The binding is calf over oak boards, blind-tooled to a panel design using fillets (impressed straight lines) and small single stamps. At the fore-edge are the remains of clasps. The boards have been cut flush with the textblock, a common feature of earlier medieval bindings.


Bequeathed to the Alexander Turnbull Library in 1962 by Thomas L. Seddon (1901-1962) of Feilding.


Upper and lower covers and spine of Homiliarius doctorum ([Cologne]: Conrad Winters, de Homborch, [ca. 1478]). qRInc HOMIL Homil 1478.

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Taken on October 1, 2010