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A silversmith skillfully made this silbereinband, or solid silver binding, in the late 17th century. The artist, possibly from Bavaria, executed the design in relief. Christ, holding a cross, is represented on the spine, with a snake and a skull at his feet, symbolizing his triumph over Satan & death. On the front of the binding is a beautiful interpretation of the Last Supper, similar to the style of Italian sculptures of the sixteenth century. 2 silver clasps are adorned with floral motifs.
Double-Sided Gospel Leaf, first half of 14th century Ethiopia; Tigray region Tempera on parchment, MET New York, 2.
LUCKY CHARMS OF BIRTH CONTROL Perhaps the earliest form of contraception, amulets and charms with reputed powers to prevent conception were used for thousands of years -- granted, with little success. The above left example from ancient Egypt was designed to open and close the womb with a special "key" engraved on the front.
Shoes were simple, made from leather called a turn shoe. However, men of high fashion in later periods began to wear shoes called Crakows or poulaines. They were long pointed shoes that are said to have come from Poland. They became fashionable in the 1300s. While they were worn by women, they were more of a man’s shoe and could reach impractical lengths.