The 'cover' for the text was a pair of boards, top and bottom. The top board, presented to Bodleian, is decorated with woodcarving:
|Text cover woodcarving donated by Colin and Charlotte Franklin.|
The central detail of the carved panel is the seated figure of a Buddha in meditation mudra, cum halo...
|(left-click once to enlarge the photo)|
To either side is what seemed at first to me to be a peacock, but since receiving the points made separately by Dan Martin and Amy Heller - see below in the 'comments' section - I accept that it is most probably a haṃsa goose.
In earlier times, I was a professional woodcarver, working in European styles of carving (including work done in House of Lords, St Paul's, Westminster Abbey, Oberammergau, etc). However, I have no expertise in this style of carving, so any observations by readers of this posting would be welcome in the comments feature below.
Meanwhile, this gift put me in mind of other wooden text covers which Bodleian has, and which seemed to have been almost forgotten in the depths of what used to be J floor in New Bodleian. Most of the covers are more or less plain wooden panels, but two of greater interest are shown below, one of which also has extensive woodcarving on it:
|Bodleian Tibetan book covers|
|left side detail of topmost cover above|
|right side detail|
And thanks again to Colin & Charlotte Franklin for the gift.
update Summer 2014 -
2 further donations of sutra covers from Colin & Charlotte Franklin:
with thanks to the donors.