Definition of term:: Clasp

  • "Clasps, like bosses and corner-pieces, were part of the protective armour of medieval (and post-medieval) bindings. A clasp, either of metal with a hinge, or with an intervening strip of leather or textile, on one board snapped into a catch on the other. Its object was to keep the book closed, relieving any strain on the joints from casual movement. In England and France the clasp was on the upper board, the catch on the lower; elsewhere in Europe the positions were reversed." (John Carter)
Danish: Spænde
Dutch: Slot, klamp
French: Fermoirs
German: Schließe
Italian: Fermaglio
Spanish: Cierre
Swedish: Knäppe
Source: John Carter, ABC for Book Collectors. 7th edition. With Corrections, Additions and an Introduction by Nicolas Barker. Oak Knoll Press 1995