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A Parisian Roll-Tooled Binding, c. 1500

Horae Beatae Virginis Mariae (Roman Use).
Paris: Philippe Pigouchet for Simon Vostre, 22 August 1498.

Although it is rare to find fifteenth-century Books of Hours that have not been rebound in styles more pleasing to their more recent owners, Bridwell Library owns two Books of Hours printed on vellum in the 1490s that retain their original bindings. This Parisian binding, the better preserved of the two, is completely original save for small areas of restoration where two fore edge clasps once were attached. The covers display a typical Parisian design with a central panel of five vertical floral rolls and parallel fillets set within two outer borders of fleurs-de-lis and flowers within lozenges. Through most of the fifteenth century, this decoration would have been achieved with vertical rows of repeated individual stamps; toward the year 1500, however, rolls like the ones used here began to simplify the work.