A chemise binding

A chemise binding
Accession number: 
MS. Wood empt. 23
Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

A separate box or satchel is not the only way to enclose a book. The term ‘chemise’ is used to describe either an extension to the material of the binding which protrudes over the edge of the cover, or an added piece of leather or textile which is stitched or stuck or fastened to the edge. In some cases the chemise is large enough to be wrapped all the way round the book. In this English example from the late fourteenth century, it is papal statutes and Church constitutions which received this special protection.

Manuscript: 200 x 128 x 67 mm

Manuscript: 431 g

Purchased from the Oxford antiquary Anthony Wood, 1690