St Catherine of Alexandria died in the fourth century, but her iconography developed in the Middle Ages when she was venerated as one of the “virgin martyrs”. She is often depicted with a spiked breaking wheel and a sword, emblems of her martyrdom. As patron saint of students and theologians, she is an appropriate decoration to a theological textbook. The figure underneath is St Thomas; an architect and carpenter, he appears with a drafting compass.
The impressions on the leather are the result of “blind” stamping or rolling. The binder would heat and press an engraved stamp onto the leather, leaving an indentation. For borders with repeating patterns, a heated wheel (roll) was used. This is one of only four known extant examples of this particular stamp.
Author: Peter Lombard
Title: Textus magistri sententiarum in quatuor sectus libros partiales (Lyon, 1527)
Shelfmark: K.19.15 (catalogue record)