Early 16th-century Italian gold-tooled calfskin, with knotwork design & gauffering (Ii.1.26)

A northern Italian gold-tooled calfskin binding of c.1525-35, with differing central decoration in knotwork on each cover, and gauffering on the edges of the textblock (above). Knotwork decoration was a typical feature of Mudejar bindings produced by Moors still resident in Spain after the Reconquista, but also appears, as here, on Italian bindings of the period, where it may also indicate an Islamic influence. From the College's copy of Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (1499).

Bequest of John Newcome.