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Islamic Bookbindings in the University of Turin. Some Particular Features and Preservation Issues

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image of Journal of Islamic Manuscripts

The University of Turin houses a collection of Islamic manuscripts, once owned by the German orientalist, Paul Ernst Kahle (1875–1964). The survey carried out on this collection in recent years has shed light on some interesting features of these manuscripts from a codicological perspective. This paper is focused specifically on bindings, illustrating a number of characteristics found in the collection. Three fifteenth-century bindings are described, with particular attention to the decorative aspects of book covers. In addition, two structural features are described: the board attachment with two pieces of leather, found on a number of full leather covers, and the occurrence of slipcases in the collection. Furthermore, the issue of preservation and initiatives to improve the condition of the collection are presented.

Affiliations: 1: Research fellow, University of Turin


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