Coptic Prayer Book
Creation Date
1650 – 1750
Coptic prayer book from Ethiopia (A). The book was made sometime between 1650 and 1750 AD. The pages are made of vellum and some of them were repaired with sinew. There is a Coptic cross carved on the front cover and hourglass shapes pressed lightly in the back cover. The book also contains an illumination of Madonna and child flanked by angels. There are also other pages with drawings, but they lack color. The Madonna and child is the only colored page. It is composed of a series of hymns to honor the saints of the Church. The language that is used is Geez, a semitic language used in Ethiopia since the 4th century. The type of calligraphy is called gwelh, which was used ca. 1700 and is commonly identified as a "royal script." The book was originally stored in a leather case (B). The case consists of two pieces. The book would fit in the smaller piece and then both pieces would fit into the outer shell which has straps for carrying. Stans, Maurice H.

Contact the Scott County Historical Society for more information