Seals Gallery

(Seal Matrix & Lead Seals)

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A seal matrix is used for making an impression in wax to seal and/or authenticate a document or envelope and keep it closed. Some specialised matrices have been used for making impressions on lead seals, such as cloth seals. Many seals are personal ones used in association with a signature.

This is a scarce historical treasure. It is a copper alloy seal that bears the inscription, WILLEMI DE MARTHAM (seal of William of Martham c1085) and shows a bull being attacked by a lion.

Two medieval personal seal matrix
Same seals end on.
Medieval lead seal matrix 1200 to 1300AD
Medieval lead seal matrix
Medieval lead seal matrix.

All the above contributed by A.

Reverse of 14th century seal matrix
14th century seal matrix
Impression made by seal

Above is a silver seal matrix found in Martham; it is flat with a  concave border and pierced lug at the upper edge on the reverse. It is oval, measuring 28mm x 21mm and weighs 10.12g. It depicts a standing female figure with an elaborate headdress, raising the front of her dress with her right hand and holding a book in her left hand, she is flanked by the letters I A. Her head interrupts the border to form the initial mark for the legend. The legend reads DE LEAL AMOVR IEO SVY FLOVR (I am the flower of true love), and it is dated to the 14th century (medieval).
My thanks to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) for allowing the publication of their photographs here.
Contributor A.

Below is another medieval seal matrix found in Martham in 2023 with the inscription in Latin “AVE MARIA GRACIA PLENA = “Hail Mary, Full Of Grace”. The reverse has a raised rib and lug on it which would have been used for suspension.
Contributor A.

Medieval seal matrix.
Contributor Jean.

Late medieval wool bale seals.
Contributor PD.

The above are Victorian Intaglio seals. Similar styles have been around since Egyptian times and became extremely popular in the 1700’s and 1800’s. Ultimately, an intaglio seal is a ‘stamp’ of sorts that is used to secure all types of hand-written communication.
Contributor A.

A seal example in use. The personal seal impression of William Rising Esq. of West Somerton & Martham.

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