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An Ethiopic Psalter in our collection: It once had covers. Note the Coptic binding, the quires of goatskin parchment. The case is made from leather to protect the codex from the rain. The case is called a "Mahdar". The manuscript has many interesting repairs. See our Ethiopian board for more details. Ethiopia has carried a manuscript tradition for almost 1600 years and still today writes on parchment as part of its liturgical tradition.

Ethiopian Psalter with carry bag. Note: The codex is missing its covers. It once has ceramic covers then wooden covers. Note the coptic binding technique.

Ge'ez also transliterated Gi'iz, and less precisely called Ethiopic is an ancient South Semitic language that originated in the northern region of Ethiopia and southern Eritrea in the Horn of Africa. It later became the official language of the Kingdom of Aksum and Ethiopian imperial court.

The Geez language is the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Church. More importantly, it's an ancient South Semitic language that was the official language of the Ethiopian imperial court.

A victim of time: damaged binding that is strangly attractive (@ubleiden Groenh. 99).

Erik Kwakkel on

A victim of time: damaged binding that is strangly attractive ( Groenh.

Note the interweaving cord loops of the Ethiopian binding. This is quite different from European bindings with leather thongs or cords onto which the gatherings sewn.

Next week marks the 2012 iteration of the Minnesota Manuscript Research Laboratory (MMRL), a one-week work.

Portable volume, girdle book of leather with a knot to be tucked under a person’s girdle or belt, from which the book hung upside down so that it could be picked up and read at any time. The printed book is from 1508, the blind-tooled leather binding from 1579 and the exterior knotted leather cover was added ten years later, in 1589. At some point in the book’s life, flaps were cut into the front and back of the exterior cover so that the imprint on the leather binding underneath became…

Girdle book, 1589 // a portable volume a person could tuck under his girdle or belt. The knot on the exterior leather cover, held the book behind the belt.

"Kopert" or limp vellum binding: Reinforced spine    Photo: István Borbás/National Library of Sweden    Limp vellum binding with a reinforced spine of brown leather. Prague 1398.  The manuscript is doubtless part of the spoils from the storming of Prague in 1648.

"Kopert" or limp vellum binding: Reinforced spine Photo: István Borbás/National Library of Sweden Limp vellum binding with a reinforced spine of brown leather. Prague The manuscript is doubtless part of the spoils from the storming of Prague in

A small prayer book with three quires bound using a binding method called "Coptic Binding".

A small prayer book with three quires bound using a binding method called "Coptic Binding".

Tibetan Book of Prayers : 1880

A novel way to have an art book printed! Tibetan book of prayers, Tibet, about

The Wellcome Library, London, England, has acquired a gorgeous 15th century manuscript with fold-out illustrations relating to astrology and medicine. Previously unknown to scholars, in fact, it turns out to have been owned by eccentric English poet Edith Sitwell.

The Wellcome Library has acquired a gorgeous century manuscript with fold-out illustrations relating to astrology & medicine. Previously unknown to scholars - in fact, it turns out to have been owned by eccentric English poet Edith Sitwell.

Ethiopic Binding....very much in need of repair.

very much in need of repair.

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