In the Middle Ages, books had to be laboriously hand-copied and so were extremely valuable. The monks who were charged with copying the manuscripts also kept them in libraries. Book theft was a grave offense. There are many versions of these “book curses” from history that have been found written into the beginnings of manuscripts as a type of insurance against theft. Here, we have recreated one of the best known versions for use in your own books.
The text reads:
For him that stealeth,
or borroweth and returneth not
this book from its owner,
let it change into a serpent in his hand
and rend him.
Let him be struck with palsy,
and all his members blasted.
Let him languish in pain crying out
Let there be no surcease to his agony
till he sing in dissolution.
Let bookworms gnaw his entrails.
Black medieval-calligraphy style text is surrounded with a red celtic knot border. Illustrations taken from illuminated manuscripts accentuate the text. At the top are two people laying poisoned under a tree. At the bottom are two rabbits attacking a man: one beats him with a stick while the other flays off his skin (really!)
The bookplate is printed on adhesive backed paper. To activate adhesive, simply moisten and press onto book surface. I find that using a damp kitchen sponge is best to wet the back of the label.
Labels will come in strips of 2-3 that can be easily cut apart with scissors.
They make a great companion to our Heretical Nonsense stamps for a totally unique book-lover’s gift!