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Book clasps

The hasp and clasp fastener was a two part device. They are normally of copper alloy but precious metal versions have been found.

They date normally from 13th to 16thC

Stunning medieval decorated book clasp parts - includes one rivet in situ

 

Medieval c15thC Copper alloy book clasp

A cast copper-alloy book clasp (hook piece) of late Medieval date, probably 14th-15th century.

The clasp is sub-rectangular in plan, with a flaring split end decorated in a feather motif that would attach to a leather strap. The hook is semi-cylindrical

The top of the clasps is decorated with three holes running across the width of the clasp near the base of the feather decoration of the split end. Just off centre of the top of the clasp is a stamped circle and dot motif, with a hollow circle in the centre and raised circumscribing circle set within the clasp plate. A collar runs across the width of the clasp end, and simple incised lines arranged in a chevron shape occur behind the collar. Another rivet is placed between the chevron decoration and the circle and dot decoration.

The underside of the clasp is undecorated

PAS link

Medieval c15thC Copper alloy book clasp, made from a rectangular plate with one end narrowed and bent back to form a shallow hook, the other splayed by cutting three notches into the edge. Two rivets hold back plate. Central motif of punched hole surrounded by incised ring.
16thC book clasp fragment
17thC Miniature book
18th/19th hinged clasp
18th/19th hinged clasp
16thC clasp with Tudor rose flower design
15th/16thC clasp with single rivet fixing
Medieval c15thC Copper alloy book clasp

A copper alloy book clasp hook piece, probably of post-Medieval date. The clasp consists of a flat rectangular , with a projecting hook at one end that is semicircular in section. The other end is decorated with two bowed lobes with a small circular perforation positioned centrally where the lobes meet. A copper alloy rivet is positioned centrally through each lobe, 2mm from the edge of the lobe. The rivets were fitted on the underside of the clasp with conical lugs.

The book clasp appears to be undecorated, though this may be due to surface corrosion of the object.

PAS link

Medieval c15thC Copper alloy book clasp fragment
Medieval c15thC Copper alloy book clasp fragment with 2 rivet fixing
Medieval c15thC Copper alloy book clasp fragment with rivet fixing

Medieval decorated book clasp
Medieval decorated book clasp

Medieval bible clasp with markers mark BS

 

Medieval book hinge and clasp Medieval decorated book clasp

Medieval decorated book clasp Medieval decorated book clasp

The distinguishing feature of this book format is its long extension of the leather cover
along the lower edge of the book, which allows it to be carried by hand, or be tucked
under the belt, held there by a large knob or hook incorporated into the overhanging
leather. Judging by contemporaneous representations in paintings, sculptures, drawings and in verbal descriptions the majority was made between about 1450 and 1650, mainly in what is now Germany, the Netherlands and England. Only about two dozen still exist, making it a very rare witness to medieval life between six hundred and seven hundred years ago.