seals-bib - 11/29/02
A bibliography on medieval seals and useful comments on creating modern seals by Master Magnus Malleus, OL.
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
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Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 16:57:57 -0400
From: rmhowe <MMagnusM at bellsouth.net>
To: Metalcasting at yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: Seals
> Corwyn and Carowyn <silveroak at juno.com>
> Wax Seal Stamps?
> There are some people in my shire who would
> like to find a person to create some personal wax
> seal stamps. Is anyone here interested? Please
> contact me off-list at <Silveroak at juno.com> so we
> can talk. We're looking at 3 stamps at the very
> least, and I haven't mentioned it to the whole
> shire yet.
> From: Todd <dafydd3r at yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: Wax Seal Stamps?
> Some simpler period wax seals were done in stone.
Can you cite a reference for this? I have yet to see
a medieval one except perhaps Roman era spoilia reused
in medieval rings. Not to be a smartass, but the subject
interests me. Follows a list of some of my resources:
The Antiquaries Journal reprint, July 1939
(Vol. XIX, No. 3), plate LX, includes
picture of Seal of Simon de Montfort.
There are three Surviving Anglo-Saxon seals, one of which
was done in Ivory. Two of which are in the following book:
Blair, John: Anglo-Saxon Oxfordshire; Sutton Publishing Ltd.
/ Oxfordshire Books, 1994/8, 230pp., 102 illustrations.
Ivory seal of Godwine the minister from Wallingford, gold
wire ring, 11th century seal of an eighth century princess -
Saint Frideswide. ISBN 0750917504 pb, £14.99
Clark, John: Saxon and Norman London; The Museum of London,
1989. John Clark is in the Department of Antiquities (MoL),
48 page colour and black and white paperback, 1989, 1st
printing, ISBN 0112904580 £3.95 The Seal of St. Bartholomewís
Hospital 34. The Common Seal of the City of London 39 with
St. Paul bearing sword with banner before the City of London
- Says Seal of the Barons of London, On the opposite face to
the figure of St. Paul (see page 39) was that of St. Thomas
Beckett enthroned over the London skyline 44. Charter of King
John with Seal 9 May 1215 page 43.
Clay, Charles: The Seals of the Religious Houses of Yorkshire;
Oxford, Society of Antiquaries of London, 1928. Reprint from
Archaeologia LXXVIII, pp. 1-36 and Plates I-IX.
Artsikhovskii, A.V. & Kolchin, B.A. (eds.):
Trudy Novgorodskoi Arkheologicheskoi Ekspeditsii. Tom I.
(Materialy i Issledovaniia po Arkheologii SSSR. 55.) 248,
(2)pp. Prof. illus. Lrg. 4to. Cloth. Moskva (Izdatelístvo
Akademii Nauk SSSR), 1956.
Novogorod I 1956 Archaeological Study by Artsikhovsky,
Topography, stratigraphy and chronology by B. A. Kolchin,
Pendant seals 51-4 by V.L. Yannin
Artsikhovskii, A.V. & Kolchin, B.A. (eds.): Trudy Novgorodskoi
Arkheologicheskoi Ekspeditsii. Tom II. (Materialy i
Issledovaniia po Arkheologii SSSR. 65.) Moskva (Izdatel'stvo
Akademii Nauk SSSR), 1959. 362, (2)pp. Prof. illus.
Lrg. 4to. Novgorod 1958 Volume II Iron and Steel by B.A. Kolchin,
Weapons A. F. Medvedev, Leatherwork and Shoemaking by S.A.
Izyumova, Metal articles of dress and adornment by M.V. Sedova,
Blair, C. H. Hunter, M.A., F.S.A.: Some Medieval Seal Matrices;
Antiquaries Journal, 4, (3), 1924, pp. 240-8, depicts seven
varied seals and one seal matrice.
The Treatises of Benvenuto Cellini on Goldsmithing
and Sculpture ISBN 0486215687
Cherry, John, M.A: The Dunstable Swan Jewel, reprinted from
the Journal of the Archaeological Association, Third Series,
Vol. XXXXII, 1969, pp38-53 and plates XXIV-XXVI, includes
Illustrations of both sides of jewel, seal of the office of
the Cockett, lead badges, and roundel in bronze.
Cherry, John: A Note on Two Seal Matrices, pp. 320-3, in folder with:
Spencer, Brian: Pilgrim Souvenirs from the Medieval Waterfront
Excavations at Trig Lane, London, 1974-6; in Lond. Mid. Arch. 33,
1982, pp. 304-20.
Department of Medieval and Later Antiquities: New Acquisitions
No. 1 (1976-78) Part II Post Medieval, British Museum
Occaisional Paper No. 10, 1980. Includes a history of post
medieval seal matrices and what happened to them
and concentrates on the Seal Matrices of Queen Victoria.
Arthur Fox-Davies books on heraldry are full of Seals,
as are a number of other heraldry books.
Gravett, Christopher: Bosworth 1485 - Last Charge of the
Plantagenets; Osprey Military Campaign Series 66;
ISBN 1855328631, PB, 96 pages, 1999. Battle scene plates by
Graham Turner. Depicts: Seal of Richard III as Admiral of the
fleet - English Royal castellated fighting ship with royal arms
on sail - p. 6-7. Lead Boar Hat Badge of Richard III found in
the moat of Middleham Castle, Yorkshire page 12. Collars of
Maintenance. A late 15th C. gold seal ring with a bezel bearing
the emblem of an enameled Boar, believed dropped by a supporter of
Richard III and supposedly found on the battle site at Bosworth
(belongs to Duke of Devonshire) p. 77, quite fancy.
A Guide to the Seals in the Public Record Office by the P.R.O.
Harvey, P.D.A and Andrew McGuinness: A Guide to British Medieval
Seals; A well-written and lucid introduction to the development,
design and use of all types of medieval seals. 133p, 109 illus
(British Library & Public Record Office 1996) Hb £29.00 oxbow 1998.
Hinton, John: Medieval Jewellery From the Eleventh to the
Fifteenth Century; Shire Archaeology 21, 1982 1st UK ed.,
Princes Risborough, UK, With B&W illus. 1982 first edition,
48pp., ISBN 0852635761, List of plates, introduction, materials,
types of jewels, Jewellery and History; Note; Museums to visit;
further reading, Plates, index.
Two gold finger rings engraved for use as seals;
Bronze signet ring from Christchurch Priory.
Jenkinson, Hilary: Some Notes on the Preservation, Moulding and
Casting of Seals; Antiq. Journal 4, 1924, pp.388-403.
Jones, Michael: The Seals of John IV, Duke of Brittainy,
1364-1399; Antiquaries Journal 55, 1975, pp366-81.
Kingsford, H: Seal Matrices with Screw-out Centres;
Antiq. Journal 4, 1924 pp249-56.
McGregor, Arthur: Bone, Antler, Ivory, & Horn;
Long out of print mid 80's ISBN 0389205311
Mills, Nigel: Medieval Artefacts; 1999, ISBN 1897738277.
Buckles; strapends and belt mounts; seal matrices; thimbles;
pilgrim badges; finger rings; brooch buckles; harness pendants;
locks, keys and weights; spoons, knives and pottery; arrowheads,
spurs and edged weapons; purses, pins, buttons, pendants,
mirrors, and whistles; ecclestiastical objects; select
Knights Hospitaller (1) 1100-1306; by David Nicolle, Phd.;
Illustrated by Christa Hook; Osprey Warrior Series 33;
ISBN 1841762148; PB, 64 pages including 10 plates. Bibliography
and Glossary one page each.
Depicts: Various citadels and fortified abbeys; sculpture of
warriors on different capitals; 12th C. Great Seal of the
Hospitaller Convent p. 17 f&B; Seals of Father Roger de Moulins
(F&B), Front and Back of the Great Seal of the Master, Father
Nicholas Lorgne, dating from around 1282, Wax Seal of the Master,
Father Hugues Revel , dating from around 1268.
Royal Armouries Yearbook 6; 2001, £17.50 before shipping.
Pyrotechnic Devices from Coburg Castle; by Alfred Geibig,
pp. 88-97. 89-1 Limepot (Sturmtopf) from Coburg Castle
with the original seal, surrounded by caltrops smeared
with remnants of quicklime from another pot.
Saunders, Peter and Eleanor: Salisbury and South Wiltshire
Museum Medieval Catalogue Part I, published by the
Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, The King's House,
65 The Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2EN, England,
ISBN 0947535136. Contains an article on Seal Matrices by
John Cherry pp. 29-39 with a half page bibliograhy.
Tait, Hugh: Jewelry: 7000 Years; ISBN 0810981033
Ward Perkins, J B.: London Museum Medieval Catalogue 1940.
Anglia Publishing, 1993. Catalogue of the wide-ranging
collection: weapons, tools, horse furniture, pendants, keys,
purses, weights, lighting, household utensils, plate, pottery,
tiles, pilgrim souvenirs, buckles, chapes, figures, wood,
bone, ivory, glass, pipeclay, whetstones, seals. 322pp,
illustrated boards, profusely illustrated with photos and
drawings. New. Book #16 £24.50 (approx. $38.89)
Anglia Publishing , Unit T, Dodnash Priory Farm Hazel
Shrub, Bentley, Ipswich, United Kingdom , IP9 2DF
Phone 01473 311138 / Fax 01473 312288,
anglia at anglianet.co.uk ('99)
Welch, Martin: Anglo-Saxon England; English Heritage
PB Edition, Batsford, 1992-2000, ISBN 0713465662. 144pp.,
91 illustrations, appendices, 2 1/2 page bibliography.
contains a replica of Childericís signet seal ring, 7th C..
Cylinder seals of stone and baked clay were used in ancient
times. I have at least one book on that. Those are very
European Merchant tags were used on bags of shipped materials
in period o=o folded over and stamped.
> I believe that in the Orient there were stone stamps as well.
Called Chops. In cast metal also. One of the things the Japanese
brought up from the bottom of the (Hakone?) bay where the Mongols
attempted an unsuccessful invasion (mostly due to weather) is
a large bronze probably general's seal. Also it was custom for
oriental merchants to affix their steel stamp mark to silver
passing through their shops. I have a spanish piece of eight
that looks like a bowl and is over twice normal size due to
the eighty or more chopmarks on it.
> You may want to consider a group project in soapstone and let
> people carve their own..
> Mistakes are easily fixed with a piece of sandpaper... :o)
Be aware that most soapstone except Montana white contains
asbestos and that talc is also a known carcinogen.
Talc (with asbestos) is the main ingredient of soapstone.
I suggest a down draft fan, a bathroom fan with attendant hose,
placed on the table behind your carving work, hooked up to a
hole in a panel placed in your window. $20 is cheaper and
easier than dying slowly of cancer and emphysema. My mother
took a year and a half. Could barely whisper the last six
months. My surrogate father also had emphysema but the intestinal
cancer got him first. Still wasn't pretty. You can also get
stomach cancer or intestinal cancer, or even skin problems
caused by asbetos fibers. You can also pass it to members of
your family by way of washing clothes together. National Geographic
had a picture of a man, a ship fitter, members of whose family had
caught it this way a decade or so ago.
> Pieces can also be carved to look like chess pieces or other
> decorations so that they can sit out on tabletop. Only the bottom
> needs to be carved for impressing the wax - and since the carving
> would most likely be a negative, it'd stand out quite well in the
It's an easily workable Idea though.
So is Bone, which you can obtain sanitised at a good pet food store.
Carving impressions could be checked by Silly Putty or Kleen Clay
as you progress. At least small ones could be checked this way.
I still carve a bit of bone when the wife allows me near it.
The results in my muscles wear both of us out. Ann has to do
a lot of heavy acupressure with her elbows on me as a result.
> The key is using good stampable wax, not a parafin base.
Years ago, before I became disabled with a muscle/nervous system
disability I prepared a polished cast iron blank for the Atlantian
Seal to be engraved on. I'd been engraving for years at the time.
Unfortunately I didn't get the cooperation promised by the
Atlantian Kingdom Herald at the time. In fact I got none at all
despite repeated requests.
So, curiously, after I was made a Laurel, Duke Badouin asked what
had happened to that project. Well, the above happpened.
As what had disabled me by my Laurelling was Fibromyalgia, and since
has progressed to chronic myofascial pain it's not likely to get
done now. Atlantia has a very complicated set of devices.
(It turned out to be like one of those things you know you should
have bought when you saw it the first time. Gone now.)
If I do it in the future it will have to be done in very carefully
modeled wax to be cast as opposed to engraved. That equipment's
needed area and venting is presently awaiting a lot of remodelling
to be able to use. But since the wife's position of 33 years just
got reduced in force by the state we may be a bit closer to getting
to it. After a couple hundred feet of badly needed bookcases.
Master Magnus Malleus, OL, GDH, Atlantia © 2002 R.M. Howe
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