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Hornbook. This hornbook shows on one side the design of an eagle with outstretched wings. The hornbook made its first appearance around the middle of the 1400s, and rapidly became a popular teaching and instructional aid for children. The 'book' is actually a parchment or paper fixed to a thin wooden or ivory board with a short handle. The information is presented in a formulaic fashion, starting with the alphabet, nine digits, the Lord's prayer and sometimes a syllabary, a list of characters representing syllables. The text is protected by a thin translucent sheet of horn, which is held in place by a frame of riveted copper strips. The back of the board is often decorated.
© Museum of London