Writing tablet and leather case: 14th century
© Museum of London
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Tablets of ivory or wood with wax-filled compartments were used as handy notebooks 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 scribed into the wax with a bone or metal stylus. This case is constructed from three layers of leather to form individual slots for the tablets. The two inner layers have an ogival profile at the top which facilitated the removal of the tablets. Writing "tables" as they were known in the medieval period, were sold by booksellers and haberdashers, and regular consignments were imported into London from the continent.
1300 AD - 1390 AD