manuscript, calligraphy, painting, religious/ritual equipment

Bindings with envelope flaps are among the most distinctive features of Islamic codices. Extending from the far left of the binding, the flaps would be placed onto the text block to protect the manuscript’s core.

This example is decorated with a fine scalloped and gilded medallion, filled with geometric interlace that form star-shaped motifs. Repeated on the book’s flap and outer covers, the roundel is surrounded by a frieze with an S-shaped pattern and scalloped cornerpieces, all outlined in gold.

Produced by blind-tooling, a technique of applying special tools onto a slightly dampened leather surface, these patterns reflect the sober decorative repertoire used in 15th-century Mamluk book production.

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