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Manuscript in Ge-ez script on vellum
Late 19th century or early 20th century. Quarto in 10s and 12s. 192 vellum leaves: comprised of 2 blank leaves, 3 leaves with later drawings on one side only, 1 leaf with later drawing on recto and 9 lines of red and black text on verso, 180 leaves of text in red and black (20 lines per page, 18 pages with polychrome headpieces), 2 leaves with later text in black only, 4 blank leaves. Red goatskin over wooden boards, elaborately panelled in blind, the panels composed from fillets and decorative rolls with occasional roundels, all surrounding a central panel tooled in blind with a Christian cross made up from fillets, decorative rolls and various small tools, the flat spine divided into three compartments with fillets in blind, the compartments similarly decorated with crossed fillets and roundels, red morocco doublures, elaborately tooled in blind, with small central approximately rectangular panel of dark blue velvet, within a red morocco inner slipcase with integral flaps, the exterior elaborately tooled in blind with tools that were also employed on the binding, and attached by straps to an outer carrying case of red morocco, this case with some stitched decoration but also tooled in blind with tools that were employed on the binding. Provenance: Unidentified ink-stamp on final page of regular text A beautiful and venerated object, and a reminder of an age before printing. Unlike most books, the signs of wear on this bound manuscript are signs of care rather than neglect. It is usually spurious to talk of the patina of a book, but the tears, scuffs and careful amateur repairs to the exterior carrying case, the darkened area at one end of the inner slipcase and small worm smooth patch of board that is visible on the upper cover of the binding, these are all signs of a work that is esteemed, like the shining brass toe of a statue of a revered saint. The main body of the text appears to be in a single hand, in red and black ink, with occasional abstract headpieces in three or four colours.
      [Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-01-31           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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