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Near East Collection: Islamic Books and Bookbinding

Exhibit "Islamic Books and Bookbinding"

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A post-Mongol book cover from Iran

First published in 1923 by Friederich Sarre in his Islamische Bucheinbande (First English translation published in 1924 as Islamic bookbindings). This illustrated book cover reflects Mongol influence on Persian miniatures 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


Decor         Detail 1              Detail 2         Detail 3

Detail 4            Detail 5              Detail 6


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