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Generally formed of sheet copper alloy folded or wrapped on itself to form a cylinder or tube, lace-tags provided pointed terminals for a lace of leather or textile to aid threading through a corresponding eyelet in garments (see Egan in Egan and Pritchard 2002, 281; fig. 181). Laces aided tighter, figure-hugging fashions documented from the 14th century onwards (Egan in Egan and Pritchard 2002, 284). Later examples were used for decoration, on slashed garments and caps, and could be made in precious metals. Objects of similar construction, but longer (as much as 100 mm long, rather than the usual range), and sometimes with terminal collars, may be needle holders; other objects may possibly be pens (Egan in Egan and Pritchard 2002, 290).
PAS object type to be used
Use LACE TAG
PAS object classification to be used
Nothing is required in the Classification field.
If your example conforms to the types set out in Margeson 1993 or Ottaway and Rogers 2002, Norwich Type 1, 2 or 3 or York type E, F, O or U, it might be worth stating this in the Object Description field.
Terms to use in the description
You may find these objects referred to as ‘points’ or ‘aglets’, amongst other terms, as they were in the past, or sometimes as ‘chapes’, but it is not useful for us to do so. Lace-tags taper from their attachment end, which may feature a small perforation for a rivet. They have a longitudinal seam, at which the ends of the sheet either overlap or meet at an edge to edge seam.
Lace-tags are known from the 14th century (possibly the 13th) to the early 17th century, and thus span the medieval and post-medieval periods (Forsyth in Egan and Forsyth 1997, 224-226; Egan in Egan and Pritchard 2002, 281).
Medieval lace-tags are covered by Egan in Egan and Pritchard (2002, 281-290). He gave a certain attribution to examples which are 40 mm or shorter, while other, longer pieces are qualified as ‘possible’.