A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. Canon. Liturg. 392

Summary Catalogue no.: 19473


Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Good borders.

Good initials. (Pächt and Alexander ii. 206)


15th century, early, Italian (as MS.): wood boards; brown leather, tooled on each cover with blind lines and stamps in near-ropework frames, around a decorative gilt centrepiece built up with a repeated concave-lozenge stamp; spine cross-hatched with blind double lines, no title; traces of two strap-and-pin fastenings with leather straps running from fore-edge of front board to large pins near centre of back, all lost; edges plain. Spine repaired, 20th century, Bodleian. 236–237 × 168–170 × c. 69–70 mm. (book closed). Claimed as probably the earliest known example of a European binding with gold tooling (under Islamic influence).


Origin: c. 1400 ; Italian, Florence

Record Sources

Summary description abbreviated from the Summary Catalogue (1897). Decoration, localization and date follow Pächt and Alexander (1970). Binding: B. C. Barker-Benfield, Bookbindings of Canonici manuscripts : a survey of early and non-standard bindings, mostly Italian, in the Canonici collection of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford (Oxford, privately printed, 2020).

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (1 image of binding from 35mm slides)
Digital Bodleian (2 images of binding from 35mm slides)


    Printed descriptions:

    Tammaro de Marinis, La legatura artistica in Italia nei secoli XV e XVI, 3 vols., Florence 1960, III no. 3017 (under Florence)
    A. Hobson, Humanists and bookbinders: the origins and diffusion of the humanistic bookbinding 1459–1559 …, Cambridge 1989, pp. 24–5 and fig. 17
    Otto Mazal, Einbandkunde: die Geschichte des Bucheinbandes, Elemente des Buch- und Bibliothekswesens, 16, Wiesbaden 1997, p. 154
    Mirjam M. Foot, ‘Influences on sixteenth-century English bookbinding’, in Bookbinding 2000 Proceedings, Rochester, NY, 2002, pp. 89–102, at p. 95 and Fig. 3.
    S. J. P. van Dijk, Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 2: Office Books (typescript, 1957), p. 245

Last Substantive Revision

2020-08-20: Binding description added.