The annunciation (detail), Limbourg Brothers, The Belles Heures of Jean of France, Duke of Berry*. Ink, tempera, and gold leaf on vellum. The Cloisters Collection. Metropolitan Museum of Art. ca. 1406-09. *Item, une belles Heures, tres bien et richement historiees [Item, a beautiful hours, very well and richly illuminated];
Goddess Saraswathi, Raja Ravi Varma. 1896. Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, Lakshmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara, Gujarat.
In the Middle Ages books were usually displayed on ornate stands [detail above from The Belles Heures]. Since books were scarce and quite valuable it was not unusual for books to be chained to their stands as a measure against theft.