Ivory writing tablet: 14th century
© Museum of London
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Rectangular ivory writing tablet. This tablet has a geometrical design on the reverse side. It is constituted by a central circle and four straight lines dividing the tablet into equal quarters. Tablets of ivory or wood with wax filled compartments were used as a handy notebook for the ephemeral jottings of the day. The tablets, often as many as six, were laced together with strips of leather or parchment in the form of a book. Those on the outside provided a protective cover and the exterior surfaces were often embellished with figurative or geometric carvings. Biblical scenes, figures of saints or secular images of courtly love and leisure pursuits were popular. The tablets were housed in special travelling cases of leather, and the notes were inscribed into the wax with a bone or metal stylus.
1300 AD - 1390 AD