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The Wooden Box

Upon her return to Cambridge in 1893, after her second visit to Sinai, Agnes Smith Lewis commissioned a mahogany box to further protect Syriac 30, the Sinai Syriac palimpsest.

Agnes wrote a book, In the Shadow of Sinai, published in 1898, in which she herself described the box:

I had sent out a box in 1893 for the safe-keeping of the manuscript. It was made of Spanish mahogany, lined with cedar, and was ornamented with a variety of crosses and Catherine wheels. It had two lids, the inner one of glass so as to admit of its contents being shown without their being handled, and the outer one of wood surmounted by a silver plate bearing an inscription, in Greek uncials, composed by Mr. Charles Moule, of Corpus Christi College.

Amidst the tracery of the carved wood-work are various little holes, designed to allow the free passage of air without dust, through the box.

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