Karen Hanmer

Artists' Books & Installation

Gallery: Book Structure Models

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Title: Medieval Girdle Book

Medieval Girdle Book

Medieval Girdle Book


Medieval girdle book | $750 covered in pig suede | add $50 for covering in velvet | add $150 for covering in veg tanned or alum tawed goatskin plus blind tooling | add $75 for handmade paper text block

This model is accompanied by a twelve-page, illustrated booklet with bibliography outlining the construction of medieval bindings in general and the girdle book in particular.

The girdle book is a medieval binding structure featuring a long extension of leather, which could be attached to a traveler’s belt. This leather extends from the tail of the book, so the text can be read while the book is still attached to the reader’s belt. The extension often terminates in a decorative knot or hook.

The twenty-three extant girdle books date from 1454 to 1579. There are hundreds of representations of these bindings in paintings and other visual arts.

This model displays features typical of medieval bindings:

Text block size: 4.75 x 3.25 x 1.25 inches. Book covered in pig suede. Colors vary. Deerskin, alum-tawed goat, or velvet covering available for an additional fee. Please inquire.

Please note: these models are made to order and may not be available for immediate delivery. Average turn-around time is three months.

Also available:

Detailed instructions for constructing a girdle book
Medieval binding model, completed and covered in alum-tawed leather
Medieval binding cut-away model, the lacing and covering appear in process to reveal how the binding is constructed