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Near East Collection: Islamic Book and Bookbinding

Exhibits from the Near East Collection at Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library & Yale University Library

Exhibit "Islamic Book and Bookbinding"

Stamped and gilt leather binding
(1544 A.D. / 951 A.H.)

Al-Qamus al-muhit. An Arabic dictionary written by Muhammad ibn Ya`qub al-Firuzabadi (d. 1414 or 15).
Naskhi script.

By the 16th century, Persian binders began to add gilding to the stamped designs. The areas to be decorated were dampened and painted with gold, then pressed with a hot metal stamp, leaving a deep impression on the leather. In this example, the design is highlighted with dark brown and the inside of the binding is painted with simple gold patterns.

Beinecke; Salisbury ms. 4