Rectangular item with patterned edge on grey smoky background

A book, viewed side on, showing that the sides of the pages are gold edged and embossed












Ptolemy, Geographiae [Geography] (Rome, 1508)

Vellum, paper


Written around the year AD 150, Geographia (Geography) is an atlas of maps of the world as understood by the Greek mathematician Claudius Ptolemy (AD 100–170).

This copy contains beautiful gauffering and a painted coat-of-arms along the head-edge (top) and tail-edge (bottom) of the pages. Gauffering is a decorative technique usually applied to the gilded edges of books. Heated metal tools are impressed onto the edges to create intricate indented patterns.

View catalogue entry for Geographiae

Part of the exhibition Unfamiliar.

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