Home Scribal Arts Structural Book Arts Articles & Notes

A Token Book

The binding on the token books is  loosely based on a find of thirteen 4th century papyrus codices in Nag Hammadi, Egypt.  The majority of these books had a single quire bound in a stiff leather cover which has been strengthened by a lining of multiple layers of papyrus.  In the majority of these books the upper cover extends around the manuscript creating an envelope like flap to which a wrapping band has been attached.  Codices of the Nag Hammadi  find were found to be bound both by using tackets which passed directly through the cover and with tackets going through a spine strip which was then covered. [1]

The token book consists of a single signature of handmade paper bound in a unreinforced soft leather cover that wraps around and has a wrapping thong closure.   The quire is bound directly to the cover with exposed tackets by making long stitches in a figure eight pattern through three punched holes. 

Our token book measures 3"x4" when closed. Paper for the prototype book was handmade by Bess, Kirk & Victoria de Nevell.  

Below are pictures of the project prototype. 



  1. Smith, Keith; "Non-Adhesive Binding; Books without paste or glue"; Keith Smith Books, New York, 1999
  2. Szirmai, J.A.; "The Archeology of Medieval Bookbinding"; Ashgate Publishing Ltd, England, 2001

Home Scribal Arts Structural Book Arts Articles & Notes


Creative Commons License
The content of this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Please notify us if you use our work, so we can make note of it.

Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Kristen Kirk VanTassle.  This is not a corporate publication of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. or of the  Middle Kingdom, and does not delineate SCA policies.  All original contributing artists and authors retain the copyright of certain portions of this site.   For information on using photographs, articles, or artwork from this website, please contact the Lady of the Manor. For technical issues, please contact the local monk. Please respect the legal rights of our contributors, Thank you.