By Adam Gacek
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Additional info for Arabic Manuscripts: a Vademecum for Readers (Handbook of Oriental Studies Handbuch Der Orientalistik Section 1 The Near and Middle East, 98)
The upper and lower covers flow smoothly round into the spine without a strengthening ridge. e. the spine is always stuck to the backs of the quires (gatherings). Most of the bindings produced after the 7/13th century are essentially ‘case bindings’, that is, bindings produced independently, as a whole, and then lightly attached by paste to the lining of the backs of the sewn quires. The covers are of the same size as the textblock, that is, they do not protrude on the three sides (head, tail and fore-edge), as is the case with Western bindings.
As far as is known, muḥ aqqaq and rayḥ ān were not used for the copying of non-Qurʾanic manuscripts. Among other regional scripts which were extensively used as bookhands are: → Maghribī, → Bihārī, and → nastaʿlīq. Book loan statements Although the lending of books to others was often decried (Déroche 2004: 59), book loan statements are occasionally found in Arabic manuscripts and, like other notes left by former owners, they are important for the history of a given copy (→ History of manuscripts).
In the oblique cut it was usually the right half-nib which was elevated, although some were in the habit of cutting the nib in such a way that the left half-nib was higher than the right half-nib (Ṭ ayyibī 1962: 17). In the Muslim West, however, the nib was pointed (‘taillé en pointe’) (Déroche 2004: 79–80; Déroche et al. 2006: 104–106). The nibbing was done on a nibbing block called a miqaṭt,̣ miqaṭtạ h or miqṣamah (AMT, 116–117). The nibbing block was made either of ivory or a hard wood or animal bone.