It is written Ethiopian Geez, or Classical Ethiopic, which is an ancient South Semitic language of the Ethio-Semitic branch language believed to have been used as early as the 5th Century AD. Early bible translations in Geez, date back to the 6th century at least, making them one of the world's oldest Bible translations. These hand crafted books were used in Coptic Christian ceremonies, and often carried by an individual for protection and healing. This particular relic is believed to be a scriptural scroll from Circa.
It likely contains pieces of the old and new testaments of holy Coptic Christian scripture, Psalms (as a psalter of sorts), and prayers. This is an incredible piece to have in your collection! Kristen Windmuller-Luna from the MetMuseum in New York City writes: This leather-bound manuscript is a prayer book written in Gez, the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
The main text is composed in a carbon-based black ink, while vegetable-based red ink is reserved for proper names, punctuation marks, and headlines. The entire text is written with a small, very even hand. The scribe of this manuscript was likely responsible for all physical aspects of its creation, including the making of parchment and ink, binding, and illumination.
Parchment for a book of this scale and quality was likely sourced from the skin of a goat or a gazelle. After soaking in water, skins are tied to a frame to be scraped clean of fat and flesh with a curved metal knife and a pumice stone, then dried in the sun.
After drying, the skin is again scraped to remove hair and make the surface even. Prior to removal from the frame, the skin is pricked with an awl to indicate where the bifolio parchment sheets will be cut. Faint lines are then scored on the flesh side to guide the scribes pen, or to block out areas for illuminations. After the text and illuminations are complete, the collated bifolios are bound into quires, small collections of parchment leaves, and then bound with a kind of chain stitch.
Ethiopian manuscripts are nearly always bound between pieces of wood [though other, more common manuscripts, are bound with thick pieces of leather instead]. Especially valuable works, such as this prayer book, were then covered with dyed and ornamented leather.A luxury volume like this was typically enclosed in a leather pouch, which this volume retains. A leather case (mahdar) was crafted from flat pieces of leather stitched and braided together to form a pouch with an accompanying cover that ingeniously slides up the cases hanging strap, held in place by bands on either side. Most commonly pulled taut to the top of the cover to form a long strap, this feature allowed the book to be carried or hung for storage. The strap can also be pulled along the short side of the case to create a smaller handle. Books were typically hung from zebu horns secured into walls, stored underneath priests beds, or stacked in church treasuries.
Tightly sealed leather cases simultaneously protected the precious volumes from water, dust, and insects. This piece was written about a similar work that is on display in the MetMuseum in New York City, New York. It is not exactly the same as this one available for sell, but is very similar.The citation/credit for this excerpt is as follows: Kristen Windmuller-Luna, 2016 Sylvan C. Coleman and Pam Coleman Memorial Fund Fellow in the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.
This particular piece came out of a private manuscript collection based in Houston TX. It has since been on display in my personal collection. It is guaranteed authentic, and is an incredible piece. Overall it is in good condition.
There is some darker tonight on the outer portions of the document (as compared to the higher tones on the inner portions). The vellum has become taught, and is not as malleable as it once was. It might be brittle in places.
Expect some light folds, lines, writing, stains, light tears, and other small blemishes from aging. This was tightly wrapped in leather, keeping it safe from most of the possible environmental damage, however, it has still aged some from the years. Please note damage from the photos. Strdying them carefully is the best way to tell condition. The leather on the outer portions is also well worn, the pages are wrinkled, may have light holes, writing, and other blemishes.
There is significant toning from aging. This is an incredible piece and would make a great addition to any collection! Be sure to check over the details and look at all of the photos so you will know exactly what youll get! Sometimes the photos include a picture of the item next to a ruler so that you can better tell the size of the item.This way we can avoid any accidental sizing issues. My goal is to make you happy! I love being able to help in any way, so if for some reason something isnt clear, then please dont hesitate to ask!! If you see an error in any listing then please let me know, so that I can fix it immediately! I dont want to be dishonest even on accident!
And I LOVE learning about antiques, so if you have anything extra I can add to a listing, then feel free to let me know! Please contact me if there is a problem and I would be happy to help!! Its my pleasure to be serve you an any way I can! All items come from a smoke free pet free home. Some Is bought in bulk so I can offer you great prices, and some are rare and I only have one!
Let me know if I can help you in any way and Id be happy to! The item "Rare 14th Century Ethiopian Geez Coptic Christian Vellum Book Manuscript Africa" is in sale since Tuesday, August 31, 2021. This item is in the category "Antiques\Manuscripts". The seller is "worleyenterprisesinternationalllc" and is located in Auburn, Alabama.
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