SerpentStone

SerpentStone

5 x 3.5 inches, 128 pages handmade paper, 12 pages mica. Ethopian Coptic binding with wood covers, a fossilized ammonite embeded behind mica and a leather clasp. Unique book. Housed in a wood and plexiglas box.

In medieval Europe, fossilised ammonites were thought to be petrified snakes, and were called “snakestones” or, more commonly in medieval England, “serpentstones”. They were taken to be evidence for the actions of saints such as Saint Hilda and Saint Patrick. Traders would occasionally carve the face of a snake into the empty, wide end of the ammonite fossil and sell them to the public. Ammonites from the Gandaki river in Nepal are known as saligrams, and are believed by Hindus to be a concrete manifestation of God or Vishnu.