As it was only a test piece, my endband model was entirely non-adhesive, and therefore moved a lot when abraded. In the original, there still remain traces of what appears to have been adhesive all the way around the primary endbands. This would have held the covering material firmly in place, even when it was abraded, so that the strips would not have been pulled out of their tunnels from the movement. The adhesive residue is also an indication that the secondary endband consisted of one continuous layer of material, as no extra material would have been added between it and the primary endband.
Furthermore, the covering material and the stiff adhesive could have offered protection to the primary endband. Since the textblock was back-cornered, the primary endband sat in a recess, protected from mechanical forces. The covering material around it, however, would have protruded over the edge of the textblock and been subject to abrasion. Why the abrasion occurred on both endbands is unknown, but it is possible that both boards were detached, as there are extensive historic repairs to the joints. The textblock would then have been in direct contact with the shelf, and the covering material around the primary endbands abraded every time the book was moved - creating the same type of damage as the sandpaper passed over the top of the endband model until all soft material was gone. The endband model therefore shows a significant level of consistency with the evidence remaining on the original binding, and the positioning of the components appears to be identical.
While the model visually resembles the remaining evidence of the original, the material covering the primary endbands has been lost, and so cannot be examined to confirm or challenge the accuracy of the model. It seems odd that one element of the Gothic binding would diverge so much from standard practices, when all other characteristics are entirely traditional and recognisably Gothic. To the extent of my (admittedly limited) knowledge, no other bindings exist that structurally resemble my model, and so it is possible that the similarity to the Chichester Cathedral binding is purely accidental.
My tutors have also expressed doubts about the process my model suggests, as it seems unnecessarily complicated and time consuming. Nevertheless, I was surprised at the ease with which the model came together despite the seemingly overcomplicated process, and considering the resemblance to the evidence on the original binding, I suggest we at least consider it a possibility in the absence of further explanations. I am curious to do further research and experimentation to explore this mysterious feature, and perhaps creating a full historic binding model can open up the possibilities of alternative structures.
All diagrams were created by the author. All photographic images were taken by the author, with kind permission from Chichester Cathedral Library.