Although One may not make much of a common Bookmark, their need and usage was a hallmark of the 15th Century. A standard Bookmark is a device made from either metal, cloth or paper – that is used to mark a page from a book that one was reading, and wished to stop and come back at a later point to continue. Originally, these devices only identified a page read (or future page), and did not locate an exact word, sentence or paragraph. That required Memory (which was sometimes lacking, especially if one was reading more than one book or researching same). Enter the somewhat innovative “Rotating Bookmark”.
Tracing it’s origins to possibly 14th Century Germany (and even The Middle East – possible as far back as the 1st Century AD), the device was a cloth strip upon which was printed interations or marks. Centered on the cloth strip was a paper circular pattern upon which was printed a series of markings, letters etc. – that were used to exactly mark a specific word, sentence and or paragraph. Turning or replacement of the pattern changed the Reader’s perspective to the next needed word, etc.
A usual tool for Scribes and Illuminators to maintain their exact spots, Royalty also considered The Rotating Bookmark a very necessary tool. Unfortunately, Medieval Literacy being what it was – future development of this device soon waned to only The Learned. Very few examples have survived to The Modern Era.