YORYM-2BBE37: Medieval : Book Fitting

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Unique ID: YORYM-2BBE37

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete copper-alloy book clasp of Howsam type A.1.1 and of medieval date. The object is part of a two-piece book clasp with hinged plate and loop. The plate has been lost, though the separate copper-alloy hinge bar remains.

The main plate is D-shaped with moulded and engraved linear decoration, stamped with irregularly spaced annulets to the upper surface. A central circular perforation is also present. A moulded stylised zoomorphic terminal extends from the rounded edge of the main plate, at right angles to the plate itself. The forward facing terminal has a prominent mouth, nose, brow and ears, and a circular perforation runs transversely through the "mouth" of the beast. Two integral loops extend from either corner to the opposite side of the main plate. A separate rod of copper-alloy remains fitted through the loops. The reverse of the object is flat and undecorated.

The metal has a dark green patina and is in fair condition. The object is 29.9mm long, 18.2mm wide, 7.2mm thick and weighs 7.6g.

Similar examples have been recorded on the PAS database including BH-D895C7, ESS-E50B1B, DENO-0D92E8 and SWYOR-2DF84B and are also shown in Egan, G. (1998) The Medieval Household: Daily Living c.1150-c.1450 (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London), 277- 80.

This type of object had previously been identified as a form of strap end (Egan G. and Pritchard, F. (1991) Dress Accessories: Medieval finds from the Museum of London, 101-2 but intact examples on books have since been discovered (Howsam 2016). They are often dated to the late 14th or early 15th century, but the stamped annulets on this type may suggest an earlier date, perhaps late 12th or 13th century.

Class: clasp
Sub class: Howsam type A.1.1
Evidence of reuse: Piercing

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1150
Date to: Circa AD 1450

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 29.9 mm
Width: 18.2 mm
Thickness: 7.2 mm
Weight: 7.6 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mrs Rebecca Griffiths
Identified by: Mrs Rebecca Griffiths

Other reference numbers

Other reference: YMT : E05234

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: York (Unitary Authority)
District: York (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Naburn (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SE6145
Four figure Latitude: 53.89759135
Four figure longitude: -1.07318371
1:25K map: SE6145
1:10K map: SE64NW
Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

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

References cited

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Find number: LANCUM-60B076
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Find number: PUBLIC-D0CF1F
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Find number: SUSS-CE6246
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Incomplete cast end plate from a copper-alloy Medieval hinged book-clasp of Howsam type A.1.1. The plate is missing, along with most of the tw…
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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: YORYM
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: 3 months ago

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