27 - 28 June 2006
BOOK SATCHEL, cuir ciselé and cuir bouilli. Probably North Italian, early 16th century
130 x 100 x 50 mm. Black leather, hardened and cut, the case and lid decorated with a design of oak-leaf wreaths containing a gothic Y, the foliage and initials in relief against a punch-dotted ground, the sides with four raised lion heads forming slots for carrying (the strap is modern).
Provenance: bought in 1958 from Emil Offenbacher, whose typed slip refers to a book satchel with a French inscription in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was dated by Dorothy Miner to the 15th century (Baltimore bookbinding exhibition catalogue no. 170).
Late-medieval cut-leather decoration on bindings and boxes without content or provenance is notoriously hard to localize and date. Many surviving examples are Germanic and Central European, while Italian or French work such as this satchel are rather rarer. Short split in lid, but in FINE CONDITION.
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