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A type of sliding fastener through which a belt or ribbon can be passed and secured (without a tongue, such as in a buckle), usually in the form of an open frame with a vertical centre bar. A type of clasp for holding in place a woman's hair, having a centre bar and a catch or some sort of spring fastener. Such articles are usually made of a base metal or plastics, but some are made of gold, silver, tortoise shell, coral, jet, amber, etc. The term used in the United States as a 'barrette'.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson