WAW-22C4D0: Medieval book fitting: clasp (plan and reverse).

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Image use policy

Our images can be used under a CC BY attribution licence (unless stated otherwise).


Unique ID: WAW-22C4D0

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Medieval (mid 14th to 15th centuries) book clasp of Howsam type A.1.3. The copper alloy clasp is composed of two components; a rectangular plate and a perforated clasp element.

The rectangular strap mount component is a sheet of copper alloy which has been folded over the axis bar and the corners cut off to narrow it slightly at the fold. There are two rivet holes in the centre of each plate. The under plate is narrower, shorter and incomplete. The upper face of the plate is decorated with a double-stranded rouletting of addorsed triangles, forming a border.

The perforated clasp element has a rectangular loop ending in a bar that projects slightly beyond the rest of the clasp. It is semi-circular and flat, with a central circular perforation, and is decorated with similar double-stranded rouletting forming a border. At the apex there is an integral, incomplete knop through which there is a incomplete circular aperture running from side to side. The surface of the book clasp has an abraded mid to dark green patina. It measures 40.77mm long, 22.3mm wide and 3.92mm thick. It weighs 8.9g.

The clasp would have been used in conjunction with leather straps to keep books closed when not in use. Egan (Egan 1998) illustrates similar clasps, for example No. 919, and comments that this clasp was found in contexts dating from c. 1350 to c. 1400. Ottaway and Rogers (Ottaway and Rogers 2002) illustrate similar sized clasps, Nos. 15236 and 14641 in particular, and these were found in late 14th to 15th century contexts. Ottaway and Rogers (2002, 2937) comment that these types of mounts are found on ecclesiastical and secular sites but these types may be more associated with books related to ecclesiastical business (2002, 2939) even when discovered on secular sites.

Compare HAMP-D3A2EB, which has similar decoration.

Class: clasp
Sub class: Howsam type A.1.3

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1350
Date to: Circa AD 1500

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 40.77 mm
Width: 22.3 mm
Thickness: 3.92 mm
Weight: 8.9 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 4th December 2013 - Wednesday 5th March 2014

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Angie Bolton
Identified by: Ms Angie Bolton

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Suffolk (County)
District: Suffolk Coastal (District)
Parish or ward: Linstead Magna (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TM3176
Four figure Latitude: 52.3334186
Four figure longitude: 1.38908815
1:25K map: TM3176
1:10K map: TM37NW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: WAW-915605
Object type: BOOK FITTING
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Copper-alloy book clasp of Howsam type A.1.3. It is composed of a rectangular plate which has a perforated lug extending from two corners. Bot…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: WAW-046084
Object type: BOOK FITTING
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
A copper-alloy book clasp composed of two integral components; a sub-oval body, sub-drop shaped protrusion. The oval body is slightly domed wi…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: WAW-CC2E93
Object type: BOOK FITTING
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
A cast copper alloy book clasp of Howsam type A.1.1. The clasp is composed of three components; a rectangular strap mount, an axis bar and a p…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WAW
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: 4 months ago

Other formats: this page is available as qrcode json xml geojson pdf rdf representations.