NARC-975BC4: book clasp back

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Unique ID: NARC-975BC4

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Book clasp of Howsam type A.9.2. The largest part of the clasp is the square attachment end. Two rivets can be seen at the edge, which would have held the strap in place. The hollow area is 2mm deep and the clasp itself is 4mm thick at this point. There is iron corrosion where the rivets are fixed and are corroding. The surface is etched with floral designs which flare out from the upper left corner. The etched area is infilled with gilt. Cross-hatching can be seen in some of the remaining gilt.

At the opposite edge of the square is a smaller square set at a 45 degree angle from the large. It is raised (making the clasp 9mm thick at this point) and slightly stepped with a small (1.5mm) hole in the top which goes all the way through to the back, where it is larger (4.5mm). The raised small square is decorated with a four-petalled flower, outlined in gilt. The hole is slightly off centre and so emerges at 11 o'clock of the centre of the flower. The gilt surface is cracking and corroding and requires conservation.

The stepped base of the corner of the smaller square widens out slightly and forms a loop. The loop is 3mm in diameter and would have been pierced from side to side, but is now broken. The back is flat with traces of gilding.

The clasp would have been attached to the end of a strap on one cover of the book and the hole in the underside of the raised area would have fitted over a peg fixed to the cover for added security. Similar clasps have been recorded as IOW-108BF1, SF-7379, SUR-9222A1 and HAMP1901.

Class: clasp
Sub class: Howsam type A.9.2


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1300
Date to: Circa AD 1500

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 61 mm
Width: 29 mm
Weight: 28.24 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 10th January 2009

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Julie Cassidy
Identified by: Ms Julie Cassidy

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Bedford (Unitary Authority)
District: Bedford (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Knotting and Souldrop (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SP9861
Four figure Latitude: 52.238477
Four figure longitude: -0.566266
1:25K map: SP9861
1:10K map: SP96SE
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Central searchers dig
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Minimal cultivation

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NARC
Created: 10 years ago
Updated: 3 months ago

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