WMID-D3EB15: Late Medieval: Incomplete book fitting

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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Unique ID: WMID-D3EB15

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete silvered copper alloy book clasp of Medieval dating (AD 1350 to AD 1400), Howsam type A.9.2.

Around 75% of the book clasp is present, consisting of the rectangular 'box chape' only. The lozengiform element is incomplete and the terminal is missing, presumed lost in antiquity. The attachment end (box chape) is hollow and broadly rectangular although the sides flare gently outwards towards the end and the edges are at right angles to the faces. Two silver rivets are present, located at the corners of the terminal. Each rivet has a circular cross section and a diameter of 3.2 mm. Below the rivet hole the upper surface has an engraved rectangular border, inside of are the letters 'ihc' (a variant of IHS, the first three letters of the name Jesus in Greek). The raised hollow lozenge shaped element is incomplete. There are traces of silvering on the upper surface. The lower (reverse) surface is plain and undecorated.

The composition of the silver rivet has been tested using a XRF machine at Birmingham Museums Trust and it was found to consist of 90.55% silver and 7.33% copper alloy.

The book fitting measures 33.4 mm in length, 24.0 mm wide and 7.2 mm thick. It weighs 6.5 g.

The book fitting is a mid green to brown colour, with an even surface patina. Traces of silvering remain on the upper surfaces.

Similar book clasps have been recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database from Mistley Parish in Essex, Morton Parish in Lincolnshire, Tilford Parish in Surrey and Worfield Parish in Shropshire. See finds SF7379, SUR-9222A1, HAMP1901 and HESH-CE2816. Fingerlin (1971) dates them to the second half of the 14th century, but her grounds for assigning such a narrow date-range are unclear.


The book fitting onsists of two distinct components - two silver rivets and a copper-alloy body - which should be treated as individual, associated objects under the Treasure Act 1996 (see footnote 1 to paragraph 6 of The Treasure Act 1996 Code of Practice (Revised) for guidance in this respect). The silver rivets fulfil the criteria for Treasure under the Treasure Act 1996 in that they are more than 300 years old and have a precious metal content exceeding 10%; the copper-alloy body is therefore Treasure by association.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Regional importance

Class: clasp
Sub class: Howsam type A.9.2
Inscription: ihc

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder after being disclaimed as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2013T677


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1350
Date to: Circa AD 1400

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 33.4 mm
Width: 24 mm
Thickness: 7.2 mm
Weight: 6.5 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 7th September 2013 - Sunday 8th September 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Teresa Gilmore
Identified by: Miss Teresa Gilmore

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2013T677

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Silver
Decoration style: Other
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: East Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Northamptonshire (County)
District: East Northamptonshire (District)
To be known as: Raunds

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Centred on field
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Found whilst searching with a metal detector

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WMID
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 9 months ago

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