Late Medieval Silver Gilt Book Clasp, 14th to 15th Century


Product Code:RNC068

Out of stock

Out of stock


Material: Silver with surface gilding

Period: Middle ages

Date: 14th to 15th Century

Origin:  Stoulton. Worcestershire. reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS WAW-0CAEF0)

Condition: VF. a rare find. with top layer of peg missing.

Description: A beautiful little silver book clasp decorated with a head (possibly a cherub) mounded in high relief. Composed of two plates. the top part of the peg has been broken. The top edge appears to form a hinge that would have been attached to the book boards. this part covering the page ends. The peg would have been held with leather straps or loop to keep the book closed. An item like this made of precious metal would have been attached to a small family Bible or prayer book. itself of great value.

Size and Weight: 24mm x 11mm. 2.9g 

References: Egan. G. Medieval Household Living; PAS find database ID number 763359. 

Features and Provenance: Originally books were made of vellum and parchment . they were very heavy and would not lie entirely flat. so heavy boards made of wood were placed each side to contain and protect the expensive pages. A clasp was added to each board to keep it closed. initially made of leather and bone. but later metal was used and a pin or peg system was used. The number of clasps varied according to country. Silver was used for books of value such as Bibles or other devotional texts. As paper was introduced the necessity for clasps was not required and gradually abandoned except for highly decorative pieces. 


Condition Summary. This varies with the age of the artefact and there are grades between

Extremely Fine (EF). Very slight traces of wear. all parts of pattern etc present. visible and clear

Very Fine (VF). Some signs of wear on the higher parts of the relief. all parts of pattern etc present. but may be worn

Fine (F). Wear on the artefact and parts of item and pattern etc may be missing or not visible






Additional information

Weight50 g


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