BPG Fastenings and Furniture

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This page covers the various attachments applied to book boards to keep the covers closed and to protect the covers from wear. Decorative attachments to bindings are covered as well.

Original Compilers: Erin Hammeke
For a full list of the original contributors to this page, see the section below on History of This Page.
Wiki Contributors: Erin Hammeke


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Contents

Book Fastenings and Closures

Wraps and Ties

Wrapping Bands

Wrapping bands/ties are wrapped sometimes several times around the volume's width, and cinched or tied in order to keep covers closed. The wrapping bands can be made of various material including covering material and can be integral to, attached to, or detached from the covers/covering material. When attached, the point of attachment is typically at one of the board fore edges or on a fore edge flap. "The oldest wrap closures were made on Coptic covers from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD found near the Egyptian village of Nag Hammadi. This type of closure has been preserved until the 19th century and has often been used as a simple and inexpensive way of closing unbound or bound materials." (Szirmai 1999 7-8; Adler 2010. p. 7)

Button & Tie Closures

Ties made of string, skin, or cord are attached at various points at the fore edge or fore edge flap and the volume is held closed by wrapping the tie around a button attached to the case spine or front cover. Buttons have been made of horn, lead, tin, and leather. (Adler, 2010. p. 7) Button and tie closures have been found on long stitch bindings from the 14th and 15th centuries. (Citation?)

Edge Ties

Ribbon-like ties made of skin or textile, often silk colored blue or green, are attached at the fore edges, and in some cases the head and tail edges of the covers and tied at each location to keep covers closed. This style was popular on Renaissance Italian and French bindings, including limp parchment bindings as well as full leather volumes, and later on stiff board vellum bindings. It was used throughout Europe until the 19th century. (Adler, 2010. p.8) Also used on Stationers bindings????

Pin & Peg type Clasps

Pin & Peg type clasps are typically three part clasp mechanisms with metal components. A pin or peg is attached either to the upper cover or to the edge of the board of the upper cover. Pegs can be cast, turned, or fabricated.

The rest of the clasp mechanism is anchored to the lower covers on the face of the board. All-metal hinged hasps and achors, or leather/tawed skin straps hold a metal ring or plate that catches on the pin or peg.

Byzantine bindings have a tripartite false braided leather strap that holds a metal ring that catches on the pin or peg.

Long strap fastenings have a long leather strap anchored to the face of the lower cover that fixes on a pin located at the center, face of the upper cover.

Clasps

Clasps made of metal and skin components attached to the faces of the upper and lower covers at the fore edge and occasionally at the head and tail edges. Metal clasp components can be cast or fabricated from sheet metal that is forged, stamped, pierced, engraved, filed, or chiseled to create decorative elements. Clasp mechanisms have three parts:

  • Anchor: often plain but sometimes decorated metal plate used to anchor the hinged hasp or clasp strap to either the upper or lower cover. Sometimes nails are used in place of a metal plate. Often, channels are cut into wooden boards so that anchor and straps are recessed so that they don't sit proud of face of the covers.
  • Hasp
    • Hinged hasps are found on all-metal clasps and are attached with a hinge to the anchor plate. They catch on catch plates with a variety of mechanisms, but mostly with a hook-like catch. Hinged hasps span the full thickness of the text and covers.
    • Strap + Hasp. Straps are typically made of whatever the primary covering material is, typically leather or alum-tawed skin, and are anchored to one of the covers with the anchor plate or nail. Straps may have a core made of vellum to add strength and tension to the clasp. Hasps are either one piece folded and sandwiching the strap, with a hook or hole through the plate that catches on a catch plate or peg; or they are two pieces (a hasp + back plate) riveted through the strap to one another. If a back plate is used, it may be made from a contrasting metal such as thin iron sheet.
  • Catch Plate: Catch plates are located on the opposite cover from the anchors / anchor plates. Hasps catch on corresponding catch plates to create the mechanism by which clasps hold covers closed. There are various styles of catch plates, most of which have a slot or pin on which the hasp catches.

Locking fastenings

Buckles

Fore edge flaps and inserted closures

Book Furniture

Nails / Fasteners

Various types of nails and tacks may be used to fasten clasp or furniture components to covers. They are typically made of brass or iron but other metals have been used. These fasteners are hammered through pilot holes made in wooden boards, and cut off, turned over, or upset or spread to form a tenon-like attachment on the inside of the board. The ends of fasteners are often visible or can be felt on the inside faces of boards.

Decorative nails

Decorative nails, typically cast, may be used on their own as decorative and protective elements, or they may be used to attach other pieces of furniture.

Domed Tacks

Domed furniture-type tacks have been used to attach furniture pieces or to act as stand alone furniture elements. American Anabapist bindings and Armenian Votive bindings use domed Tacks as book furniture elements. (CITATION)

Basic fasteners used to attach furniture pieces

Bosses

Bosses are raised elements attached to the faces of covers to protect them from wear. Metal bosses have an integral nail used to attach the pieces to the boards. Wooden and bone bosses have been found on Scandinavian bindings?????? Bosses are most often found at the center and near the corners of each board.

Centerpieces

Centerpieces are any pieces of furniture located at the center of the covers. They may be cast or fabricated from sheet and they may be decorated or plain. Some centerpieces have raised elements or integral bosses that help to protect covers. Often, center- and cornerpieces were made as a matched set.

Cornerpieces

Cornerpieces can be cast or fabricated from sheet and are located at each of the four corners of both boards. They typically fold over the board edges and occasionally are turned over onto the inside face of the boards. Like centerpieces, they may have raised elements to further protect the covers.

Cover plates & Strips

Cover plates

Cover plates are large, single plates of metal, sometimes forming a frame, that cover most of the board faces and edges. They may be decorated with repousse figurative or decorative elements, and may have inset semiprecious stones or gems, as can be found with Treasure Bindings.

Edge guards

Edge guards or edge strips span just the edges of the boards, typically just at the head and tail. They are wrapped over board edges and sometimes onto the inside face of the boards.

Feet

Feet are small raised elements that are attached to board edges, [typically on the edges on which the book is stored,] particularly as in medieval chained libraries.

Frames

Frames are much smaller than cover plates and are typically found on the face of the upper cover and hold manuscript title labels. [often found in medieval chained libraries.????]

Spine Straps

There are a few types of spine strap styles that are used as protective elements for the spine, are attached to the edges of the boards, and may provide a counteractive force to the pull of fore edge clasps. Spine straps have been observed on Anabaptist and Armenian bindings. They may be chain-like all metal spine straps; made of leather/skin; or made from a combination of skin and metal. Anabaptist spine straps often have metal-studded elements.

Notable Variations

Dated and Signed Fastenings and Furniture

Chained bindings

Locked bindings

Treasure Bindings

Votive / Ritual Bindings

Anabaptist bindings

Other Metal Attachments and Components of Bookbindings

Terminology and Thesauri

Decorative Features

Structural and Mechanical Considerations

Of Fastenings

Fastenings and other closures keep covers closed chiefly to protect the textblock from damage. Clasps keep texts under constant pressure between boards so they can't expand and contract with relative humidity fluctuations; this was particularly important for bound parchment texts. Fastenings also keep dust, light, and environmental pollutants from penetrating too far into the textblock. Closures also help to keep covers closed during transport, as one would find with smaller bindings intended to be carried on a person.

Of Furniture

Book furniture are chiefly used to protect leather, tawed skin, or textile covers from wear by lifting covers slightly up off of surfaces and by protecting vulnerable areas, such as beveled wooden board corners and edges, from impact damage.

Of Chained Bindings

On Other Parts of the Book

On Boards / Covers

On Texts and Textblock Edges

On Joints

On Facing Materials

Conservation Issues

Loss

Fastenings and furniture are vulnerable to loss from wear or from intentional removal. Clasp straps and hasps are particularly likely to be lost or removed, particularly when they no longer catch because of dimensional changes to the textblock, or as a result of or stretching, contraction, or damage to clasp straps.

Mechanical Damage

Chemical Interactions

Housings

Display

Treatment

Annotated Bibliography


Key Works

Adler, Georg and Joachim Krauskopf. 2010. Handbuch Buchverschluss und Buchbeschlag: Terminologie und Geschichte im deutschsprachigen Raum, in den Niederlanded und Italien vom frühen Mittelalter bis in die Gegenwart. [Manual book closure and book fitting. Terminology and history in German-speaking countries, in the Netherlands and Italy from the early Middle Ages to the present.] Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag. (in German). Excerpt available here.

Thorough German terminology and typology of book fastenings and furniture. Includes a multi-page, multi-lingual thesaurus for furniture components (German, Dutch, English, French, Italian; p. 208-217.)

Dürrfeld, Eike Barbara. 1992. Metal Fastening Mechanisms on Bindings of Three European Countries and Three Centuries Surveyed in the British Library, MA Thesis, School of Art history, Camberwell college of Arts.

A systematic study of metal fastenings on bindings at the British Library.

Dürrfeld, Eike Barbara. 2000. "Terra Incognita: Toward a Historiography of Book Fastenings and Furniture." Book History. Vol. 3.305-313.

Provides a brief history and a more detailed review of literature concerning book furniture.

Dürrfeld, Eike Barbara. 2002. Inaugural-Dissertaion zur Erlangung des “Die Erforschung der Buchschließen und Buchbeschläge: Eine wissenschaftsgeschichliche Analyse seit 1877.” Akademischen Grades eines Dr. Phil., vorgelegt dem Fachbereich Geschichtswissenschaft der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. Recklinghausen: Weisbaden. [“Researching book clasps and book fittings: an analysis of the history of science since 1877."] (in German)

Horváth, Pál and Tóth, Zsuzsanna. 1993. Csatok és veretek a könyvtáblákon: történeti áttekintés [Fastenings and Furnishings on book covers: a historical survey.] Budapest: Országos Széchényi Könyvtár. (in Hungarian).

A typology of the furnishings on bindings in Hungarian libraries.

Howsam, C. L. 2011. Medieval book fittings: an archaeology of medieval literacy. MA Dissertation. University of Sheffield.

Howsam, C.L. 2016. “Book fastenings and furnishings. An archaeology of late medieval books.” A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy University of Sheffield Faculty of Arts and Humanities Department of Archaeology.

Maywald, Claus. 2005. Die Buchverschlüsse, Buchbeschläge und sonstigen Metallteile am Buch. Die Terminologie. Wiegner, Königswinter. [The book closures, book fittings and other metal parts on the book.] (in German)

Maywald, Claus, D. Milicevic, and I. Domes. 2009. Buchverschlüsse, Buchbeschläge und sonstigen Metallteile am Buch. Systematik und Terminologie. Fröhlich Verlag, Rossdorf. [Book closures, book fittings and other metal parts on the book. Systematics and terminology.] (in German)

Merian, Sylvie L. 2013. “Protection against the Evil Eye? Votive Offerings on Armenian Manuscript Bindings.” Suave Mechanicals. Essays on the history of bookbinding. Vol. 1, ed. Julia Miller. Ann Arbor, MI, The Legacy Press. 42-93.

Pictures several Armenian Manuscript bindings with extensive metalwork attachments.

Milevski, Robert and Valdis Villerušs. 2008. “Reading the Bible, Preserving the Precious Text: Latvian Peasant Metal-Clad Bindings.” Library History volume 24, (June, issue 2): 128–142.

Mowery, J. Franklin. 1991. "Clasps, Schliessen, Clausuren: A Guide to the Manufacture and Literature of Clasps." Guild of Bookworkers Journal. 29.2 (Fall 1991). 1-58.

Müller, Wiebke. 1991. Die historische Entwicklung der Buchschliessen und –Beschläge. Herstellungstechniken und resauratorische Betreuung anhand von Beispielen insbesonders aus der Sondersammlung der Universitatsbibliothek Leipzig (Fachschulabschlussarbeit). Berlin: Museum für Deutsche Geschicte [The historical development of book clasps and fittings. Manufacturing techniques and restoration support based on examples, in particular from the special collection of the Leipzig University Library (final thesis).] (unpublished thesis, in German)

A survey of material from Saxony.

Sprenger, Ruth E. 1983. Buchbeschläge und Schließen aus fünf Jahrhunderten. (Aus.-Kat.). Redaktion und Gestaltung Ruth E. Sprenger. München: Bayerische Vereinsbank. [“Book fittings and clasps from five centuries.“] (in German)

Szirmai, J. A. 1991. Verslag onderzoek sluitingen boekbanden ‘De Librije’ Zuthphen. Internal report to the Board of Trustees of the Zutphen Librije. [Report on the fastenings on the bindings of the Zutphen Librije.] (in Dutch, unpublished).

Survey of the fastenings of the bindings in Zutphen Librije. “In the Zutphen Librije I observed heels of small blocks of bone, fixed with two nails (Libr. M 111, Paris imprint of 1513)” in Szirmai p. 267.

Szirmai, J.A. 2000. The Archeology of Medieval Bookbinding. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate.

Describes Romanesque furniture p. 166-168, German Girdle Book 1471 p. 238; Gothic fastenings p. 251 – 262; Gothic furniture p. 263 – 267; Chained libraries p.267-271; Leather “toggle-type button” of a limp leather binding SG Cod. 1716. p. 296.

van Wijk, Berna. 2019. “Book fittings: The archaeological reconstruction of (post-)medieval books.” Research Master thesis Archaeology 2019-2020 Groningen Institute of Archaeology University of Groningen The Netherlands.


Databases and Digital Collections

Adler, Adler. 2006 “Eine Datenbank für Buchverschlüsse und Buchbeschläge.” Einbandforschung – Informationsblatt des Arbeitskreises für die Erfassung und Erschließung historischer Bucheinbände (AEB), Vol 18/April, 13–17. [“A database for book closures and book fittings.” Cover research - information sheet of the working group for the collection and indexing of historical book covers.] (in German)

Database of Bookbindings. The British Library.

Encyklopedieknihy.cz: Encyklopedie knihy v českém středovĕku a raném novovéku.

This online encyclopedia of early Czech bookbindings includes a page on Gothic bookbindings with several examples of bookbindings with furniture. See also: https://www.encyklopedieknihy.cz/index.php/Kovov%C3%BD_pokryv.

Folger Bindings Image Collection. The Folger Shakespeare Library.

Handbookbindings: Clasps, Furniture, and Other Closures. Princeton University Library.

Digital collection of historic bookbindings including a page on fittings.

Sulgurid Ja Metallpanused Köidetel Tallinna Ülikooli Akadeemilise Raamatukogu baltika osakonnas. [Bookclasps and Book Furniture in the Baltic Department of the Academic library of Tallinn University.] (in Estonian)

History of Estonian book furniture. According to Adler, there was no Estonian book furniture. It was a Baltic German style that was used in Estonia up through the 19th century (not Estonian). (p. 230)


Large Surveys, Classifications, & Terminology

Adam, Paul. 1927. Das Restaurieren alter Bücher. Halle (Saale): Verlag Wilhelm Knapp. [The Restoration of old Books.]

An early attempt to classify German fastenings.

Adler, Georg and Joachim Krauskopf. 2010. Handbuch Buchverschluss und Buchbeschlag: Terminologie und Geschichte im deutschsprachigen Raum, in den Niederlanded und Italien vom frühen Mittelalter bis in die Gegenwart. [Manual book closure and book fitting. Terminology and history in German-speaking countries, in the Netherlands and Italy from the early Middle Ages to the present.] Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag. (in German). Excerpt available here.

Thorough German terminology and typology of book fastenings and furniture. Includes a multi-page, multi-lingual thesaurus for furniture components (German, Dutch, English, French, Italian; p. 208-217.)

Nuska, Bohumil. 1965. “Typologie českých renesančních vazeb” in Historická knižni vazba. Liberec: Severočeské museum. 19-145. [“Typology of Czech Renaissance bindings.”] (in Czech with German summary.)

Typology of fastenings on Gothic bindings from Bohemia, including bindings with locks.

Dürrfeld, Eike Barbara. 1993. “Mit Haken und Ösen: Zur Typenbestimmung von Buchschließen des 15. bis 17. Jahrhunderts.” Restauro v.99 (no.6): pp.424-429. [“With hooks and eyes: determining the 15th- to 17th-century types of book clasps.”] (In German)

Using 231 examples from the British Library's collections produced 15th-17th centuries, discusses the specific features that allow identification of English, German, and Italian book fasteners, and suggests a mode of description and terminology for the fastenings.

Dürrfeld, Eike Barbara. 1996. ‘A tentative approach at reconstructing the chronology of different types of metal fastening mechanisms on German bindings of the late 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries’, Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, vol 71. 271-7.

Lüers, Heinrich. 1936. “Die Buchschliesse. Ein technischer Beitrag.” Archiv fur Buchbinderei. Vol 36. 20-3. [“The Bookclasp. A Technical Contribution.”] (in German)

An early attempt to classify German fastenings.

Maywald, Claus. Damir Milicevic, Inge Domes. 2009. Buchverschlüsse, Buchbeschläge und sonstigen Metallteile am Buch. Systematik und Terminologie. Fröhlich Verlag, Rossdorf. [Book closures, book fittings and other metal parts on the book. Systematics and terminology.] (in German)

Szirmai, J.A. 2000. The Archeology of Medieval Bookbinding. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate.

Describes and characterizes Romanesque furniture p. 166-168, German Girdle Book 1471 p. 238; Gothic fastenings p. 251 – 262; Gothic furniture p. 263 – 267; Chained libraries p.267-271; Leather “toggle-type button” of a limp leather binding SG Cod. 1716. p. 296.

By Geographic Area

Armenia

Jaschke, Margret and Robert Stähle. 2015. Kostbare Einbandbeschläge an armenischen Handschriften : Dokumentation jüngster Maßnahmen zur Bestandserhaltung. Wiesbaden : Reichert, L. [Precious cover fittings on Armenian manuscripts: Documentation of the latest conservation measures.] (in German and Armenian)

Numerous color figures of Armenian manuscript bindings including votive bindings. The authors describe the measures for restoring damaged or lost exams using a selection of over 200 repaired objects. An attached glossary explains metalworking technical terms.

Kouymjian, Dickran. 2008. “Post-Byzantine Armenian Bookbinding and Its Relationship to the Greek Tradition.” Athens : Hellenic Society for Bookbinding : Institute for Byzantine Research-NHRF : Byzantine and Christian Museum.

Pictures several Armenian bindings with metal book furniture.

Merian, Sylvie L. 2013. “Protection against the Evil Eye? Votive Offerings on Armenian Manuscript Bindings.” Suave Mechanicals. Essays on the history of bookbinding. Vol. 1, ed. Julia Miller. Ann Arbor, MI, The Legacy Press. 42-93.

Pictures several Armenian Manuscript votive bindings with extensive metalwork attachments.


Austria

Pippal, Martina. 1984. “Die neu entdeckten, Langobardischen Buchbeschlage in der Dorflkirche von Vocklabruck.” Osterreichischc Zcitschrift fur Kunst und Denkmalspflege. 174- 184. [“The newly discovered Lombardy book fittings in the Village church of Vocklabruck.”] (In German)


Czechoslovakia

Encyklopedieknihy.cz: Encyklopedie knihy v českém středovĕku a raném novovéku. Based on Petr Voit, Encyclopedia of the book: older book printing and related fields between the mid-15th and early 19th century, Prague 2006.

This online encyclopedia of early Czech bookbindings includes a page on Gothic bookbindings with several examples of bookbindings with furniture. See also: hinged punched brass cover with inset colored glass/jewels.

Hamanová, Paulina. 1959. Z dŭjin knizni važby od nejstaršich dob do konce XIX. [The History of Bookbinding from the Earliest Times to the End of the Nineteenth Century], Praha: Orbis. p. 55, fig. 35. (in Czech.)

Features Bohemian binding examples with locks (mostly land registers from the 15-16th centuries.

Hamanová, Paulina, B. Nuska, A. Hubala, and S. Knihovna. 1966. Knižni vazba sedmi stoleti z fondů Strashovskí knihovny ... Prag: Orbis. [Seven centuries of bookbindings from the holdings of the Strash Library.] (in Czech)

Nuska, Bohumil. 1965. “Typologie českých renesančních vazeb.” Historická knižni vazba. Liberec: Severočeské museum. 19-145. [“Typology of Czech Renaissance bindings.”] (in Czech with German summary.)

Typology of fastenings on Gothic bindings from Bohemia, including bindings with locks.


England

Dürrfeld, Eike Barbara. 1992. "Metal Fastening Mechanisms on Bindings of Three European Countries and Three Centuries Surveyed in the British Library." MA Thesis, School of Art history, Camberwell college of Arts.

Systematic study on bindings in the British Library.

Howsam, C.L. 2016. “Book fastenings and furnishings. An archaeology of late medieval books.” A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy University of Sheffield Faculty of Arts and Humanities Department of Archaeology.

Nixon, Howard M. 1992. The History of Decorated Bookbinding in England. Oxford: Clarendon Press.


Estonia

“When I asked about Estonian book closures, Ms. Katrin Kaugver, the head of the Baltica department and rare books from the Tallinn University Academic Library, told me:, There was no such thing as Estonian forms (of book closures and fittings) in Estonia at the time. So-called German style was used, the bookbinding was mainly a branch of the Baltic Germans until the 19th century.” (translated). (Adler, 2010. p.230.]

Sulgurid Ja Metallpanused Köidetel Tallinna Ülikooli Akadeemilise Raamatukogu baltika osakonnas. [Bookclasps and Book Furniture in the Baltic Department of the Academic library of Tallinn University.] (in Estonian) History of Estonian book furniture, which according to Adler, was a Baltic German style through the 19th century (not Estonian). (Adler, 2010 p. 230.)

Turo, Tulvi Hanneli; Haljasmae, Rene. 2006. Köidete metallpanuste koduleht www.tlulib.ee/bookclasp TLÜ Akadeemilises Raamatukogus. Renovatum: Ennistuskoja "Kanut" bülletään, no.11. [see website entry] [The new website: Book Clasps and Book Furniture on the basis of the Collection of the Baltic and Rare Books in Academic Library of Tallinn University.] (in Estonian)

Publicizes the 2004 online project created by conservators at the Academic Library of Tallinn University. www.tlulib.ee/bookclasps, was created based on the Collection of Baltic and Rare Books in the academic library. The site presents a selection of historic book clasps from the 15th to the 20th centuries from the collection. The site provides an easily comprehensible overview of various book clasps as well as the manifold styles and techniques that were used during that period.


France

Alexandre, Jean-Louis and Claire Maitre. 1997. Catalogue des Reliures medievales des bibliotheques de France, Conservees ala Bibliotheque d'Autun ainsi qu'a'la societe eduenne. Turnhout: Brepols. [Catalog of Medieval Bindings from French Libraries, Conserved at the Autun Bibliotheque and at the Eduean Society.]

Contains French book findings, clasps, and fittings from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Alexandre, Jean-Louis and Genevieve Grand. Lanoe, Guy. 2000. Bibliothèque municipale de Vendôme. Reliures médiévales des bibliothèques de France. Vol. 2. Turnhout: Brepols. [Vendôme municipal library. Medieval bindings of French libraries.]

French bindings, clasps, fittings from the 11th to 15th centuries.

Carvin, Denis. 1988. La reliure médiévale d’après les fonds des bibliothèques d’Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Carpentras et Marseille. Arles: Centre Interregional de Conservation des Livres. [Medieval binding from the collections of the Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Carpentras and Marseille libraries.] (in French)

Some data on fastenings from Southern France.

Glenisson, Jean and Louis Holtz. 1988. Le livre au Moyen Âge. Paris: Presses du CNRS.

Renouard, Ph. 1901. Documents sur les imprimeurs, libraires, cartiers, graveurs, fondeurs de lettres, reilieurs, doreurs de livres, faiseurs de fermoirs, enlumieneurs, parcheminiers et papetiers ayant excercé à Paris de 1450 à 1600. Paris: H. Champion. 234. [Documents on printers, booksellers, cartiers, engravers, founders of letters, reilieurs, gilders of books, makers of clasps, illuminators, parchmenters and stationers having worked in Paris from 1450 to 1600.]

“The occupation” [of clausermacher] “was known elsewhere too: in Paris, Mahiet Révérend is mentioned as faiseur de fermoirs de livres in 1545 and so is Mathurin Regnier in 1553.” In Szirmai p.283.


Germany

Adler, Georg and Jörg Ansorge. 2007. “Buchverschlüsse und Buchbeschläge vom Marienkirchhof in Pasewalk – Zeugen der ehemaligen Bibliothek des Pasewalker Dominikanerklosters.” Bodendenkmalpflege in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Jahrbuch 54. Schwerin. 151–176. [Book clasps and book fittings from theMarienkirchhof in Pasewalk - witness to the former library of the Pasewalk Dominican monastery.”] (in German)

Altman, Ursula. 1972. “Bucheinbände mit Schliessen-Exlibris aus Rostock” in Einbandstudien Ilse Shunke zum 80. Berlin: Deutsche Staatsbibliothek. 21-37. [“Book bindings with Exlibris clasps from Rostock”] (in German)

“Engraved inscriptions of the owner’s name have been reported on many bindings from Lubeck and Rosock (Altman 1972, citing also the earlier literature). She observed that the ‘ex-libris’ fastenings are of the type with ‘feathered’ tail (as shown in Figure 9.50[a]) and considered them as characteristic for Northern Germany. Since then it has become clear that such ‘feathered’ fastenings were also quite common in the Low Countries and in the Rhineland and Westphalia.” In Szirmai p.283.

Gabriel, Ingo. 1991. “Mittelalterliche Buchschließen vom Weinberg in Hitzacker, in: Beitrage zur Archaologie und Geschichte Nordostniedersachsens.” Berndt Wachter zum 70. Geburtstag, Liichow. 65-66. [Medieval book closings from the vineyard in Hitzacker, in: Contributions to the archeology and history of northeastern Lower Saxony.] (in German)

Irás-Melis, Katalin. 1974. “Die Fude au seiner Buchbinderwerkstatt des 15. Jahrhunderts im königlichen Schloss zu Buda” Gutenberg-Jahrbuch. vol. 49. 303-10. (in German)

Jäckel, Karl. 1985 “Alte Techniken des Buchbinderhandwerks in der modernen Schriftgutrestaurierung, 7. SchlieBen unci Beschlage.” Bibliotheksforum Bayern 13, 272-290. [“Old bookbinding techniques in modern document restoration, 7. Clasps and fittings.“] (in German)

“…Briefly reviewed the main German variants (but with partly erroneous dating).” In Szirmai, p. 251.

Kempf, Friederich. 1901. “Alte Freiburger Buchbeschläge.” Zeitschrift der Breisgau-Geschichtsvereins Schauinsland. Vol 28. 53-62. (in German)

“Kempf described a series of such furnishings” [decorated with floral elements or fantastic beasts] “on bindings from the Freibourg area (Rhineland)” in Szirmai p. 264

Koch, Robert. 1995. “Eine rnittclalterliche BuchschlieBe aus Langenzenn.” Das archaologische Jahr in Bayern 1994, Bayerisches Landesamt fiir Denkmalpflege. Gesellschaft fur Archaologie in Bayern: Stuttgart. 144- 145. [“A classic book clasp from Langenzenn”] (in German)

Kohlhaussen, Heinrich. 1968. Nürnberger Goldschmiedekunst des Mittelalters und der Dürerzeit 1240 bis 1540. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft. 1104-217; Figs. 179-81. [Nuremberg goldsmith's art from the Middle Ages and the Dürer period 1240 to 1540.] (in German)

“In his comprehensive work on Nuremberg goldsmiths Kohlhaussen…devoted a whole chapter to book furnishings, especially the cast types, and noted that even Albrecht Dürer is credited with having designed such furnishings in the 1520s.” in Szirmai p. 264.

“The term ‘Nuremberg wares’ is widely used to denote metal fastenings and furnishings, yet so far on rather uncertain grounds. We must admit that our knowledge of the manufacture of metal articles for everyday use in the late Middle Ages is very imperfect; we know little of the organization of the various crafts and their areas of specialization; we are largely ignorant of their working methods: what was truly ‘hand-made’, which tools or machinery did they employ to facilitate efficient production, and, above all, what trade channels were used for their distribution. Although there is plenty of evidence that Nuremberg was a prominent site of metal craft, including goldsmithing (see Kohlhassen 1968), there is no specific record of the production and trade of book furnishings – an area urgently in need of further research.” In Szirmai p.283.

Künsemüller, Schmidt and A. Friedrich. 1987. “Buchbeschläge.” Severin Corsten (Hrsg.): Lexikon des gesamten Buchwesens. Band 1: A – Buch. Hiersemann, Stuttgart. 573–574. [“Bookclasps.”] (in German)

Kyriss, Ernst. 1940. Nurnberger Klostereinbande der Jahre 1433 bis 1525. [Inaugural-Dissertation Erlangen] Bamberg: J. M. Reindl. 54. [Nurnberg monastery binding from 1433 to 1525.] (in German)

“All monastic workshops in Nuremberg followed the ‘German rule’, except the Augustinians who preferred clasps closing on the lower cover.” In Szirmai p. 252.
“Kyriss observed that almost all monastic workshops in Nuremberg (Dominicans, Augustinian friars, Carthusians) furnished all of their bindings with bosses or corner- and centre pieces.” In Szirmai p. 263.

Kyriss, Ernst. 1957. Der verzierte europäische Einband vor der Renaissance. [The decorated European cover before the Renaissance.] Stuttgart: Max Hettler Verlag. (in German)

“mentions horn and wood; of about 40 bindings with furnishings in the Zutphen Librije seven are fitted with turned wooden bosses.” P. 13. (in Szirmai)

Lüers, Heinrich. 1936. “Die Buchschliesse. Ein technischer Beitrag.” Archiv fur Buchbinderei. Vol 36. 20-3. [“The Bookclasp. A Technical Contribution.”] (in German)

Early attempts to classify German fastenings.

Müller, Wiebke. 1991. Die historische Entwicklung der Buchschliessen und –Beschläge. Herstellungstechniken und resauratorische Betreuung anhand von Beispielen insbesonders aus der Sondersammlung der Universitatsbibliothek Leipzig (Fachschulabschlussarbeit). Berlin: Museum für Deutsche Geschicte [The historical development of book clasps and fittings. Manufacturing techniques and restoration support based on examples, in particular from the special collection of the Leipzig University Library (final thesis).] (unpublished thesis, in German)

A survey of material from Saxony.

Petersen, Dag-Ernst. 1975. Mittelalterliche Bucheinbände der Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel: Kleine Schriften der Herzog August Bibliothek. 5. [Medieval book covers from the Herzog August Bibliothek.] (in German)

“Two wooden laths, parallel to the spine and nailed to the upper cover of the large Gradual (…Amsterdam UB IV A 49) are obviously meant to prevent damage to the cover while it is resting on the lectern; these laths appear to be the predecessors of the half-round brass skids… often used in Germany, notably around Bamberg and Erfurt (D-E Petersen 1975 p. XXXII). In Szirmai, p. 267.

Sprenger, Ruth E. 1983. “Buchbeschläge und Schließen aus fünf Jahrhunderten.” (Aus.-Kat.). Redaktion und Gestaltung Ruth E. Sprenger. München: Bayerische Vereinsbank. [“Book fittings and clasps from five centuries.”] (in German)

Weigel, Christoph. 1698. Abbildung der Gemein-Nützlichen Haupt-Stände Von denen Regenten Und ihren So in Friedens- als Kriegs-Zeiten zugeordneten Bedienten an, biß auf alle Künstler Und Handwercker: Nach Jedes Ambts- und Beruffs-Verrichtungen, meist nach dem Leben gezeichnet und in Kupfer gebracht, auch nach Dero Ursprung, Nutzbar- und Denkwürdigkeiten, kurz, doch gründlich beschrieben, und ganz neu an den Tag geleget. 338. (in German)

Copperplate engraving pictures a 17th century Clausermaker workshop.


Hungary

Horváth, Pál and Tóth, Zsuzsanna. 1993. Csatok és veretek a könyvtáblákon: történeti áttekintés [Fastenings and Furnishings on book covers: a historical survey.] Budapest: Országos Széchényi Könyvtár. (in Hungarian).

A typology of the furnishings on bindings in Hungarian libraries.

Középkori könyvveretek: Rippl – Rónai Múzeum [Medieval book fittings.] (in Hungarian) http://smmi.hu/hirek/kozepkori-konyvveretek.html

High resolution images of a set of 15-16th c Hungarian book fittings detached from their bindings.

Irás-Melis, Katalin. 1980. “Bronzene Buchbeschläge aus dem 14 und 15. Jahrhundert in Ungarn” Gutenberg-Jahrbuch. Vol. 55. 274-83. [Bronze book fittings from the 14th and 15th centuries in Hungary”] (in German)

Ujhelyi, Nóra. 2018. “Thoughts about Medieval Book Fittings from the Castle of Visegrád.” Genius Ioci: Laszlovsky 60. Budapest: ARCHAEOLINGUA ALAPÍTVÁNY. 270-272.

Describes a set of book fittings from a castle in Hungary.


Islamic

Bosch, Gulnar, John Carswell, and Guy Betherbridge. 1981. Islamic Binding and Bookmaking: a Catalogue of an Exhibition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Pictures many Islamic bindings with foreedge flaps.


Italy

De Marinis, Tammaro. 1960. La Legatura artistica in Italia nei secoli XV e XVI. Notizie ed elenchi, 3 vols. Firenze: Fratelli Alinari/Istituto di edizioni artistiche. (vol. 1, pp. 29-30; vol. 2, pp. 41ff.) [Artistic binding in Italy in the 15th and 16th centuries.] (in Italian)

Pippal, Martina. 1984. “Die neu entdeckten, Langobardischen Buchbeschlage in der Dorflkirche von Vocklabruck.” Osterreichischc Zcitschrift fur Kunst und Denkmalspflege. 174- 184. [“The newly discovered Lombardy book fittings in the Village church of Vocklabruck.”] (in German)


Latvia

Milevski, Robert and Valdis Villerušs. 2008. “Reading the Bible, Preserving the Precious Text: Latvian Peasant Metal-Clad Bindings.” Library History. Volume 24, (June, issue 2): 128–142.

V. Villerušs. 1979. “Dazhas latviešu gram matu mam kslas attistibas tendences lidz 1917.” ["Developments in Latvian book art to 1917."] Biblioteku zinatnes aspekti: gramata—lasitajs—biblioteka— bibliografija. [Aspects of librarianship: book— reader—library—bibliography. Riga: ‘Zvaigzne’. 114–149. (In Latvian with English summary on pp. 147–149.)

V. Villerušs. 1987. “Latviešu gram matu mam ksla” [“Latvian book art”]. A. Apinis (ed), Gram mata latviešu sabiedibam 1856–1870. [The book in Latvian society 1856–1870.] Riga: Avots. 55–71. (In Latvian)

V. Villerušs. 2003. “Dazhas atzinc as par latviešu zemnieku grammatu vamku apkalumiem.” [“Notes on Latvian peasant book cover furniture.”] Retumi: veltijums Latvijas Nacionam lams bibliotemkas Reto gram matu un rokrastu nodalcas 50 darba gadiem rakstu kram jums. [Rarities: a collection of articles dedicated to the Latvian National Library Rare Book and Manuscript Division's 50 years of work.] Riga: Latvijas Nacionam lam bibliotemka. 141–142, 158–160. (in Latvian) This is a supplement to Villerušs's 1987 article and includes photos of eight bindings and two drawings of another.


The Low Countries (The Netherlands and Belgium)

Altman, Ursula. 1972. “Bucheinbände mit Schliessen-Exlibris aus Rostock.” Einbandstudien Ilse Shunke zum 80. Berlin: Deutsche Staatsbibliothek. 21-37. [“Book bindings with Exlibris clasps from Rostock”] (in German)

“Engraved inscriptions of the owner’s name have been reported on many bindings from Lubeck and Rosock (Altman 1972, citing also the earlier literature). She observed that the ‘ex-libris’ fastenings are of the type with ‘feathered’ tail (as shown in Figure 9.50[a]) and considered them as characteristic for Northern Germany. Since then it has become clear that such ‘feathered’ fastenings were also quite common in the Low Countries and in the Rhineland and Westphalia.” In Szirmai p.283.

Arts, N. 2009. “Gothic book clasps and mounts from excavations in Eindhoven and their contexts.” H. Clevis, X. Bardet and J. Thijssen, Medieval material culture : studies in honour of Jan Thijssen. Zwolle: Foundation for the Promotion of Archaeology. 121-129.

Dongen, Wim van. 1984. “Boekbanden uit de Librije van Zuthpen” [Bookbindings from the Zuthpen Library.] Middeleeuwse boeken en teksten uit Oost-Nederland. Nijmegen: Uitgeverij Alfa, 137-212. (in Dutch).

“Archival data compiled by van Dongen (1984) has even allowed the ascribing of certain types of fastenings to individual workshops.” From Szirmai.

Szirmai, J. A. 1991. Verslag onderzoek sluitingen boekbanden ‘De Librije’ Zuthphen. Internal report to the Board of Trustees of the Zutphen Librije. [Report on the fastenings on the bindings of the Zutphen Librije.] (in Dutch, unpublished).

Survey of the fastenings of the bindings in Zutphen Librije. “In the Zutphen Librije I observed heels of small blocks of bone, fixed with two nails (Libr. M 111, Paris imprint of 1513)” in Szirmai p. 267.


Poland

Jedrzejowska, Helena; Pelczarowa, Maria. 1967. "Katalog inkunabułów Biblioteki Gdańskiej Polskiej akademii nauk." Cześć druga Uzupełnienia i Dodatki. Gdańsk : Biblioteka gdańska. [Incunabula catalog of the city library in Gdansk.] (in Polish)


Russia

Klepikov, Sokrat Aleksandrovic. 1961. “Russian bookbinding from the 11th to the middle of the 17th century.” The Book Collector. Vol. 10. 408-422.

Describes five early ‘votive’ bindings from the 12th – 17th centuries, Russian presentation bindings with jeweled metal covers created by repousse metal artists (includes some photographs) attached over leather or textile covers. Describes plain leather bindings from the Novgorod region (northwest Russia) from the 11th-15th century with early examples having metal pegs (shoes) attached to the board edges and later examples fitted with pierced ironwork. Also describes Choduv or Miracle bindings from the Chudov Monestary in the Kremlin binding workshop, and pictures one from the 16th century with simple metalwork (clasps and simple, tear-shaped bosses) and “lips” around the edges of the boards.


Scandinavia

Andersson-Schmitt, Margarete and Monica Hedlund. 1989. Mittelalterliche Handschriften der Universtätsbibliothek Uppsala. Katalog über die C Sammlung. Vol 2. Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell. (in German)

“Bone was used for bosses on some Scandinavian bindings, such as on examples from Vadstena Abbey in Sweden.” In Szirmai p.267.

Hannover, Emil. 1906. Kunstfardige gamle bog bind indtil 1850 det danske kunstindustrimuseums udstelling. Kopenhagen: Lehmann & Stages Verlag. [Art-rich old bookbindings until 1850: the exhibition of the Danish Art Industry Museum.] (In Danish)

Henschen, Ingergerd. 1920 “Ett par medeltida bokband i Upsala Universitetsbibliotek.” Nordisk Tidskrift för Bok- och Biblioteksväsen, vol. 7. 156-61. [“Two Medieval Bindings in Uppsala University Library.”] (in Swedish)

Another mention of bone used for bosses on Scandinavian bindings.


Spain

López Serrano, Matilde; Mees, Marc; Romero de Lecea, Carlos; et al.1985. Ocho Siglos de Encuadernacion, Espanola. Briissel: Bibliotheea Wittockiana. 1985 [Eight Centuries of Spanish Binding.]

Bindings, clasps, and fittings from the 13th and 18th centuries.

Thomas, Sir Henry. 1939. Early Spanish Bookbindings, XI-XV centuries. London: Printed for the Bibliographical Society at the University Press, Oxford.


By Time Period

Medieval

Alexandre, Jean-Louis and Claire Maitre. 1997. Catalogue des Reliures medievales des bibliotheques de France, Conservees ala Bibliotheque d'Autun ainsi qu'a'la societe eduenne. Turnhout: Brepols. [Catalog of Medieval Bindings from French Libraries, Conserved at the Autun Bibliotheque and at the Eduean Society.]

Contains French book findings, clasps, and fittings from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Alexandre, Jean-Louis and Genevieve Grand. Lanoe, Guy. 2000. "Bibliothèque municipale de Vendôme." Reliures médiévales des bibliothèques de France. Vol. 2. Turnhout: Brepols. [Vendôme municipal library. Medieval bindings of French libraries.]

French bindings, clasps, fittings from the 11th to 15th centuries.

Arts, N. 2009. “Gothic book clasps and mounts from excavations in Eindhoven and their contexts.” H. Clevis, X. Bardet and J. Thijssen, Medieval material culture : studies in honour of Jan Thijssen. Zwolle: Foundation for the Promotion of Archaeology. 121-129.

Carvin, Denis. 1988. La reliure médiévale d’après les fonds des bibliothèques d’Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Carpentras et Marseille. Arles: Centre Interregional de Conservation des Livres. [Medieval binding from the collections of the Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Carpentras and Marseille libraries.] (in French)

Data on fastenings from Southern France.

Dongen, Wim van. 1984. “Boekbanden uit de Librije van Zuthpen” [Bookbindings from the Zuthpen Library.] Middeleeuwse boeken en teksten uit Oost-Nederland. Nijmegen: Uitgeverij Alfa, 137-212. (in Dutch).

“Archival data compiled by van Dongen (1984) has even allowed the ascribing of certain types of fastenings to individual workshops.” From Szirmai.

Gabriel, Ingo. 1991. “Mittelalterliche Buchschließen vom Weinberg in Hitzacker, in: Beitrage zur Archaologie und Geschichte Nordostniedersachsens.” Berndt Wachter zum 70. Geburtstag, Liichow. 65-66. [Medieval book closings from the vineyard in Hitzacker, in: Contributions to the archeology and history of northeastern Lower Saxony.]

Glenisson, Jean. Holtz, Louis. 1988. Le livre au Moyen Âge. Paris : Presses du CNRS. [The book in the Middle Ages.] (in French)

Henschen, Ingergerd. 1920 “Ett par medeltida bokband i Upsala Universitetsbibliotek.” Nordisk Tidskrift för Bok- och Biblioteksväsen. Vol. 7. 156-61. [“Two Medieval Bindings in Uppsala University Library.”] (in Swedish)

Howsam, C. L. 2011. Medieval book fittings: an archaeology of medieval literacy. MA Dissertation. University of Sheffield.

Irás-Melis, Katalin. 1974. “Die Fude au seiner Buchbinderwerkstatt des 15. Jahrhunderts im königlichen Schloss zu Buda.” Gutenberg-Jahrbuch. Vol. 49. 303-10. (in German)

Irás-Melis, Katalin. 1980. “Bronzene Buchbeschläge aus dem 14 und 15. Jahrhundert in Ungarn.” Gutenberg-Jahrbuch. Vol. 55. 274-83. [Bronze book fittings from the 14th and 15th centuries in Hungary”] (in German)

Kohlhaussen, Heinrich. 1968. Nürnberger Goldschmiedekunst des Mittelalters und der Dürerzeit 1240 bis 1540. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft. 1104-217; Figs. 179-81. [Nuremberg goldsmith's art from the Middle Ages and the Dürer period 1240 to 1540.] (in German) “In his comprehensive work on Nuremberg goldsmiths Kohlhaussen…devoted a whole chapter to book furnishings, especially the cast types, and noted that even Albrecht Dürer is credited with having designed such furnishings in the 1520s.” in Szirmai p. 264.

“The term ‘Nuremberg wares’ is widely used to denote metal fastenings and furnishings, yet so far on rather uncertain grounds. We must admit that our knowledge of the manufacture of metal articles for everyday use in the late Middle Ages is very imperfect; we know little of the organization of the various crafts and their areas of specialization; we are largely ignorant of their working methods: what was truly ‘hand-made’, which tools or machinery did they employ to facilitate efficient production, and, above all, what trade channels were used for their distribution. Although there is plenty of evidence that Nuremberg was a prominent site of metal craft, including goldsmithing (see Kohlhassen 1968), there is no specific record of the production and trade of book furnishings – an area urgently in need of further research.” In Szirmai p.283.

Kyriss, Ernst. 1940. Nurnberger Klostereinbande der Jahre 1433 bis 1525. [Inaugural-Dissertation Erlangen] Bamberg: J. M. Reindl. 54. [Nurnberg monastery binding from 1433 to 1525.] (in German)

“All monastic workshops in Nuremberg followed the ‘German rule’, except the Augustinians who preferred clasps closing on the lower cover.” In Szirmai p. 252.
“Kyriss observed that almost all monastic workshops in Nuremberg (Dominicans, Augustinian friars, Carthusians) furnished all of their bindings with bosses or corner- and centre pieces.” In Szirmai p. 263.

Lehmann, Paul. 1929-30. “Inventare klösterlicher Buchbindereien.” [“Inventories of Monastic Binderies.”] Jharbuch der Enbandkunst. Vol. 3-4. 34-40. (in German)

“But binders also made metal furnishings themselves, as is evident from inventories where metalworking tools are listed; the earliest is that of the Bamberg monastery, dating from 1483.” In Szirmai p.283.

Petersen, Dag-Ernst. 1975. Mittelalterliche Bucheinbände der Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel: Kleine Schriften der Herzog August Bibliothek. (5). [Medieval book covers from the Herzog August Bibliothek.] (in German)

“Two wooden laths, parallel to the spine and nailed to the upper cover of the large Gradual (…Amsterdam UB IV A 49) are obviously meant to prevent damage to the cover while it is resting on the lectern; these laths appear to be the predecessors of the half-round brass skids… often used in Germany, notably around Bamberg and Erfurt (D-E Petersen 1975 p. XXXII). In Szirmai, p. 267.

Szirmai, J.A. 2000. The Archeology of Medieval Bookbinding. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate.

German Girdle Book 1471 p. 238; Gothic fastenings p. 251 – 262; Gothic furniture p. 263 – 267; Chained libraries p.267-271; Leather “toggle-type button” of a limp leather binding, p. 296.

Thomas, Henry, Sir. 1939. Early Spanish Bookbindings: XI-XV Centuries. London: Printed for the Bibliographical Society at the University Press.

Ujhelyi, Nóra. 2018. “Thoughts about Medieval Book Fittings from the Castle of Visegrád.” Genius Ioci: Laszlovsky 60. Budapest: ARCHAEOLINGUA ALAPÍTVÁNY. 270-272.

Describes a set of book fittings from a castle in Hungary.


Late Medieval

Bücher, Karl. 1897. “Deutsche Buchbinder-Ordnungen,” Archiv für Geschichte des Deutschen Buchhandels. Vol 19. 305-76. [“German Bookbinder Regulations.” Archives for the History of the German Book Trade.]

“The designation Gürtler (girdler) refers to craftsmen who manufactured belts and the required metal accessories such as buckles; earlier, the production of armour and cuirasses fell into their realm, later they made objects for everyday use of leather and/or of metal, mainly brass, furnishings for bookbindings, etc. Where the demand of the market was large enough, the craft of Clausurmacher was able to emerge, as for example, in Nuremberg, Erfurt, Leipzg and Wittenberg; we learn from a 1567 request by the binders to the municipal council of Augsburg that, due to the death of a Nuremberg Clausermacher and the high prices the local Gurgler demanded, they asked permission for a Heinrich from Erfurt to establish himself as a Clausermacher (Bücher 1897 pp.345-6; Helwig 1962 vo. 1, p. 55). In Szirmai p.283.

Hartman, Roland. 1987. “Verschliessbare Einbände des 15, und 16.” Jahrhunderts’ in Festschrift Otto Schäfer zum 75. Geburtstag am 29. Juni 1987. Stuttgart: Dr Ernst Hauswedell & Co. 427-36.[“ Lockable covers of the 15th and 16th“] (in German)

Describes four German with locks dating between 1446 and 1536.

Howsam, C.L. 2016. “Book fastenings and furnishings. An archaeology of late medieval books.” A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy University of Sheffield Faculty of Arts and Humanities Department of Archaeology.

Jedrzejowska, Helena; Pelczarowa, Maria. 1967. Katalog inkunabułów Biblioteki Gdańskiej Polskiej akademii nauk. Cześć druga Uzupełnienia i Dodatki. Gdańsk : Biblioteka gdańska. [Incunabula catalog of the city library in Gdansk.] (in Polish)

Koch, Robert. 2003. “Romanische Buchschließen mit Tier- unci Pflanzenmotiven” Aspekte der Archaologie des Mittelalters unci der Neuzeit, Festschrift fur Walter Sage, Hg. von Ingolf Ericsson unci Hans Losert (Bamberger Schriften zur Archaologie des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit; 1), Bonn: R. Habelt. 242- 246. [“Romanesque book closures with animal and plant motifs”] (in German)

Szirmai, J.A. 2000. The Archeology of Medieval Bookbinding. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate. 166-168.

Romanesque

Koch, Robert. 2003. “Romanische Buchschließen mit Tier- unci Pflanzenmotiven.” Aspekte der Archaologie des Mittelalters unci der Neuzeit, Festschrift fur Walter Sage, Hg. von Ingolf Ericsson unci Hans Losert (Bamberger Schriften zur Archaologie des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit; 1), Bonn: R. Habelt. 242- 246. [“Romanesque book closures with animal and plant motifs”] (in German)

Szirmai, J.A. 2000. The Archeology of Medieval Bookbinding. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate. 166-168.


Renaissance

De Marinis, Tammaro. 1960. La Legatura artistica in Italia nei secoli XV e XVI. Notizie ed elenchi, 3 vols. Firenze: Fratelli Alinari/Istituto di edizioni artistiche. (vol. 1, pp. 29-30; vol. 2, pp. 41ff.) [Artistic binding in Italy in the 15th and 16th centuries.] (in Italian)

Nuska, Bohumil. 1965. “Typologie českých renesančních vazeb.” Historická knižni vazba. Liberec: Severočeské museum. 19-145. [“Typology of Czech Renaissance bindings.”] (in Czech with German summary.)

Renouard, Ph. 1901. Documents sur les imprimeurs, libraires, cartiers, graveurs, fondeurs de lettres, reilieurs, doreurs de livres, faiseurs de fermoirs, enlumieneurs, parcheminiers et papetiers ayant excercé à Paris de 1450 à 1600. Paris: H. Champion. 234. [Documents on printers, booksellers, cartiers, engravers, founders of letters, reilieurs, gilders of books, makers of clasps, illuminators, parchmenters and stationers having worked in Paris from 1450 to 1600.]

“The occupation” [of clausermacher] “was known elsewhere too: in Paris, Mahiet Révérend is mentioned as faiseur de fermoirs de livres in 1545 and so is Mathurin Regnier in 1553.” In Szirmai p.283.

By Specific Feature or Type

Anabaptist

Metzger, Chela, Erin Hammeke, Alexander Ames. 2020. “The Faith that Binds: Swiss Anabaptist Devotional Bookbindings in Early America.” Suave Mechanicals. The Legacy Press: Ann Arbor. Vol 6.

Describes Amish and Mennonite bookbindings in Switzerland and Pennsylvania that exhibit extensive metal attachments with linear punchwork, including initial and date plates, corner and center pieces, and studded leather or chain-like, all-metal spine straps.


Chained Bookindings & Libraries

Blades, William. 1892. Books in Chains and other Bibliographical Papers. London: Elliot Stock.

Clark, John Willis. 1902. The Care of Books. An Essay on the Development of Libraries and their Fittings from the Earliest Times to the End of the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge: University Press.

Kerr, N.R. 1950-1. “Chaining from a Staple on the Back Cover.” The Bodleian Library Record. Vol 3. 104-7.

A brief article that describes a certain way of chaining books by means of a staple placed on the center of the lower edge of the lower cover.

Streeter, Burnett Hillman. 1931. The Chained Library. A Survey of Four Centuries in the Evolution of the English Library. London: Macmillian and Co. Ltd.

Quite extensive survey of English chained libraries with a focus on the library furniture and systems. Images of many chained library shelving but very no binding/book furniture illustrations, (except for two chain styles p. 297.)

Szirmai, J.A. 2000. The Archeology of Medieval Bookbinding. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate.

Chained libraries p.267-271.


Locked Bookbindings

Adam, Paul. 1923. “Der Einfluss der Klosterarbeit auf die Einbandkunst’ in Buch und Bucheinband.” Aufsätze und graphische Blätter zum 60. Geburtstage von hans Loubier. Leipzig: Verlag Karl W. Hiersemann, 148-69. [“The influence of monastery work on the art of binding’ in books and book covers.” Essays and graphic sheets for the 60th birthday of Hans Loubier, Leipzig]

“There were many instances where the fastenings had the task of literally keeping the book closed and were adopted accordingly. The earliest example was noted by Adam (1923b): the council of the City of Cologne had recorded the taking of oaths in a particular volume, dated 1341, that had been furnished with a lock, recessed in the thick (17mm) upper board; its key was kept in the custody of three councilors.” In Szirmai p. 261.

Hartman, Roland. 1987. “Verschliessbare Einbände des 15, und 16.” Jahrhunderts’ in Festschrift Otto Schäfer zum 75. Geburtstag am 29. Juni 1987. Stuttgart: Dr Ernst Hauswedell & Co. 427-36.[“ Lockable covers of the 15th and 16th“] (in German)

Describes four German with locks dating between 1446 and 1536.

Heiles, Marco. 2016. “Liste abschließbarer Handschriften des Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit.”

:List of lockable manuscripts from the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period.  (in German with English translation.)

Nuska, Bohumil. 1965. “Typologie českých renesančních vazeb” in Historická knižni vazba. Liberec: Severočeské museum. 19-145. [“Typology of Czech Renaissance bindings.”] (in Czech with German summary.)

Typology of fastenings on Gothic bindings from Bohemia, including bindings with locks. “Bohemian examples,” (with locks) “mostly land registers from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, are cited by …Nuska (1965 p. 55, pl.III).” in Szirmai p. 261.

Ziedler, Johann Gottfried. 1708. Buchbinder-Philosophie oder Einleitung in die Buchbinder Kunst. [Buchbinder philosophy or introduction to Buchbinder art,] Hall im Magdeburgschen: Rengertsche Buchhandlung (Facsimile edition 1978 Hannover: Sclütersche). p. 132.

Gives details of the “’Schlösser’ and notes that ‘die Alten haben ihre Schlösser gantz von Eisen geschmiedet; theils von Messing dicke gegossen […] Heute zu tage […] weren die Clausuren gemeinlich nur von Milanischen Blech von den Gurtlern aufs liederlichste gemact.” “’ …notes that’ the old people have forged their locks entirely of iron; partly cast from brass thick […] Today […] the Clausuren are generally made only by Milanese sheet metal by the belters in the most dissolute way.‘” in Szirmai p.251.

Treasure Bindings

Treasure Binding. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treasure_binding

Votive Bindings

Merian, Sylvie L. 2013. “Protection against the Evil Eye? Votive Offerings on Armenian Manuscript Bindings.” in Suave Mechanicals. Essays on the history of bookbinding, vol. 1, ed. Julia Miller. Ann Arbor, MI, The Legacy Press. 42-93.

Pictures several Armenian Manuscript bindings with extensive metalwork attachments to covers.

Historical Sources

Bray, Dirk de. 1658. Kort onderwijs van het boeckenbindin / A Short Instruction in the Binding of Books. (facsimile reproduction edited by K. van der Horst and C. de Wolf, English translation by H.S. Lake) (1977) Amsterdam: Nico Israel.

“Briefly describes the mounting of ‘sloten’ [clasps], for which recesses in the boards had to be made before covering.” In Szirmai p. 251.

Weigel, Christoph. 1698. Abbildung der Gemein-Nützlichen Haupt-Stände Von denen Regenten Und ihren So in Friedens- als Kriegs-Zeiten zugeordneten Bedienten an, biß auf alle Künstler Und Handwercker: Nach Jedes Ambts- und Beruffs-Verrichtungen, meist nach dem Leben gezeichnet und in Kupfer gebracht, auch nach Dero Ursprung, Nutzbar- und Denkwürdigkeiten, kurz, doch gründlich beschrieben, und ganz neu an den Tag geleget. 338. (in German)

Copperplate engraving pictures a 17th century Clausermaker workshop.

Ziedler, Johann Gottfried. 1708. Buchbinder-Philosophie oder Einleitung in die Buchbinder Kunst. [Buchbinder philosophy or introduction to Buchbinder art,] Hall im Magdeburgschen: Rengertsche Buchhandlung (Facsimile edition 1978 Hannover: Sclütersche). p. 132

Gives details of the “’Schlösser’ and notes that ‘die Alten haben ihre Schlösser gantz von Eisen geschmiedet; theils von Messing dicke gegossen […] Heute zu tage ::[…] weren die Clausuren gemeinlich nur von Milanischen Blech von den Gurtlern aufs liederlichste gemact.” [“
“’ …notes that’ the old people have forged their locks entirely of iron; partly cast from brass thick […] Today […] the Clausuren are generally made only by Milanese sheet metal by the belters in the most dissolute way. ‘”in Szirmai p.251.

Klausermakers / Clausermachers

Bücher, Karl. 1897. “Deutsche Buchbinder-Ordnungen,” Archiv für Geschichte des Deutschen Buchhandels. Vol 19. 305-76. [“German Bookbinder Regulations.” Archives for the History of the German Book Trade.]

“The designation Gürtler (girdler) refers to craftsmen who manufactured belts and the required metal accessories such as buckles; earlier, the production of armour and cuirasses fell into their realm, later they made objects for everyday use of leather and/or of metal, mainly brass, furnishings for bookbindings, etc. Where the demand of the market was large enough, the craft of Clausurmacher was able to emerge, as for example, in Nuremberg, Erfurt, Leipzg and Wittenberg; we learn from a 1567 request by the binders to the municipal council of Augsburg that, due to the death of a Nuremberg Clausermacher and the high prices the local Gurgler demanded, they asked permission for a Heinrich from Erfurt to establish himself as a Clausermacher (Bücher 1897 pp.345-6; Helwig 1962 vo. 1, p. 55).” In Szirmai p.283.

Der Klausermaker.

German Wikipedia entry on German claspmakers of the 14-16th centuries.

Dongen, Wim van. 1984. “Boekbanden uit de Librije van Zuthpen” [Bookbindings from the Zuthpen Library.] Middeleeuwse boeken en teksten uit Oost-Nederland. Nijmegen: Uitgeverij Alfa, 137-212. (in Dutch):. “Archival data compiled by van Dongen (1984) has even allowed the ascribing of certain types of fastenings to individual workshops.” From Szirmai.

Renouard, Ph. 1901. Documents sur les imprimeurs, libraires, cartiers, graveurs, fondeurs de lettres, reilieurs, doreurs de livres, faiseurs de fermoirs, enlumieneurs, parcheminiers et papetiers ayant excercé à Paris de 1450 à 1600, Paris: H. Champion. 234. [Documents on printers, booksellers, cartiers, engravers, founders of letters, reilieurs, gilders of books, makers of clasps, illuminators, parchmenters and stationers having worked in Paris from 1450 to 1600.] (in French)

“The occupation” [of clausermacher] “was known elsewhere too: in Paris, Mahiet Révérend is mentioned as faiseur de fermoirs de livres in 1545 and so is Mathurin Regnier in 1553.” In Szirmai p.283.

Weigel, Christoph. 1698. Abbildung der Gemein-Nützlichen Haupt-Stände Von denen Regenten Und ihren So in Friedens- als Kriegs-Zeiten zugeordneten Bedienten an, biß auf alle Künstler Und Handwercker: Nach Jedes Ambts- und Beruffs-Verrichtungen, meist nach dem Leben gezeichnet und in Kupfer gebracht, auch nach Dero Ursprung, Nutzbar- und Denkwürdigkeiten, kurz, doch gründlich beschrieben, und ganz neu an den Tag geleget. 338. (in German)

Copperplate engraving pictures a 17th century Clausermaker workshop.

Manufacture / How to / Making Replicas

Imfeld, Hermann and Ulrike Schlüter. 1992. “Das Anfertigen von Buchschließen.” Arbeitsblatter NRW-Restauratoren. Vol 4. 1-9. [“Making Book Clasps.”] (in German)

http://bookclasp.com/

Bookclasp site by jeweler and bookbinder Jocelyn Merchant.

Jäckel, Karl. 1965. “Hinweise zur Restaurierung von Buchbeschlägen.” Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien. Jg. 78. 318-324. [“Advice on Restoring Book Fittings.”]

Mowery, J. Franklin. 1991."Clasps, Schliessen, Clausuren: A Guide to the Manufacture and Literature of Clasps." Guild of Bookworkers Journal. 29.2 (Fall 1991). 1-58.

A good overview of book furniture with some methods for making clasps.

Conservation Issues

Correia, Inês, 2012. “Revelations of a thirteenth-century Bible: from archaeological evidence to digital display.” Care and conservation of manuscripts. Vol. 13. 293-302.

The history, description, original structure, comparative analysis, and the conservation treatment of this 13th-century Dominican Parisian Bible are discussed. The conservation treatment consisted of cleaning and rebinding, specifically cleaning the spine, alum-tawed pigskin extensions for broken bands and for sewing endbands, high-density binders board, leather covering, and bosses and clasps.

Jäckel, Karl. 1965. “Hinweise zur Restaurierung von Buchbeschlägen.” Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien. Jg. 78. 318-324. [“Advice on Restoring Book Fittings.”] (in German)

Jäckel, Karl. 1985 “Alte Techniken des Buchbinderhandwerks in der modernen Schriftgutrestaurierung, 7. SchlieBen unci Beschlage.” Bibliotheksforum Bayern 13, 272-290. [“Old bookbinding techniques in modern document restoration, 7. Clasps and fittings.“] (in German)

“…Briefly reviewed the main German variants (but with partly erroneous dating).” In Szirmai, p. 251.

Jaschke, Margret and Robert Stähle. 2015. Kostbare Einbandbeschläge an armenischen Handschriften : Dokumentation jüngster Maßnahmen zur Bestandserhaltung. Wiesbaden : Reichert, L. [Precious cover fittings on Armenian manuscripts: Documentation of the latest conservation measures.] (in German and Armenian)

Numerous color figures of Armenian manuscript bindings including votive bindings. The authors describe the measures for restoring damaged or lost exams using a selection of over 200 repaired objects. An attached glossary explains metalworking technical terms.

Müller, Wiebke. 1991. Die historische Entwicklung der Buchschliessen und –Beschläge. Herstellungstechniken und resauratorische Betreuung anhand von Beispielen insbesonders aus der Sondersammlung der Universitatsbibliothek Leipzig (Fachschulabschlussarbeit). Berlin: Museum für Deutsche Geschicte [The historical development of book clasps and fittings. Manufacturing techniques and restoration support based on examples, in particular from the special collection of the Leipzig University Library (final thesis).] (unpublished thesis, in German)

Other Reading

[ https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buchschlie%C3%9Fe Buchschließe] – Wikipedia Entry [Bookclasps]

Clark, John Willis. 1902. The Care of Books. An Essay on the Development of Libraries and their Fittings from the Earliest Times to the End of the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge: University Press.

“Classical studies… clarified to a great extent the evolution of library furniture.” [regarding chained bindings] in Szirmai p. 268.

[ https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klausurmacher Der Klausermaker.]

German Wikipedia entry on German claspmakers of the 14-16th centuries.

Lehmann, Paul. 1929-30. “Inventare klösterlicher Buchbindereien.” [“Inventories of Monastic Binderies.”] Jharbuch der Enbandkunst. Vol. 3-4. 34-40. (in German)

“But binders also made metal furnishings themselves, as is evident from inventories where metalworking tools are listed; the earliest is that of the Bamberg monastery, dating from 1483.” In Szirmai p.283.

Miner, Dorothy (ed.) 1957. The History of Bookbinding 525-1950 A.D. Baltimore: the Walters Art Gallery.

Nixon, Howard M. 1992. The History of Decorated Bookbinding in England'.' Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Nuska, Bohumil. 1966-70. “Spony knih jsou k zavírání.” Historická Knizní Vazba. 177/178. [Dt. Zusammenfassung: Spangen sind zum Schließen der Bücher da, S. 195/196]. [“Book clasps are for closing.”] (in Czech)

Oldham, J. Basil. 1952. English Blind-Stamped Bindings. Cambridge: The University Press. p. 8.

“Table 9.16 shows that the direction of closing confirms, at large, the generally observed prevalence of fastenings closing on the lower cover in Italy and England, whereas fastenings on German and Dutch bindings are preferably closed the other way.” In Szirmai p. 252.


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In Summer 2020, the new page, outline and bibliography was created by the following:

Compiler: Erin Hammeke

Wiki Compilers:
2020: Erin Hammeke



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