Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

seals-msg – 2/5/08


Seals and signet rings.


NOTE: See also the files: Med-Seals-lnks, seals-bib, sealing-wax-msg, jewelry-msg, casting-msg.





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


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: Chaz Butler

To: Janet Canning

Subject: Re: Sealing Wax

Date: 17 Apr 91 11:50:22


For wax embossers check with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Smithsonian, and any of the major museums in Baltimore, Maryland who have large medieval displays.  Many replica sealers are available mail order for a relatively low price.  Many ancient roller type seals are rather fascinating for their detail work.


* Origin: A.C.E. consulting: TIDMADT 703-370-7054, voice x6508



From: jeffebear1 at aol.com (JeffEBear1)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Wax Seals

Date: 29 Jul 1996 21:29:30 -0400


Attention all Sealers!


If you make alot of seals you need an electric sealer! I do wedding

invetations 100-200 at a pop. the electric sealer is not cheap but it is

not too much for a Kingdom to raise $ for. Basically you put in small

pieces of wax-comes in gold,red and silver, or break up bigg sticks to

little pieces (all colors) and it melts them. you push the button and it

drops a premelted blob on the paper like a cookie press only better. I

usually have two people working, 1 to drop the wax and one to press the

seal. we do lots in an hour this way it's REAL quick.  No more running

back to the stove with a tin can full of wax (you know who you are!).


DragonMarsh 3737 6th St. Riverside, Ca 92501 (909) 276-1116

DRGONMARSH at aol.com    has the sealer, and wax by the pound and sticks (sm

and large) and letter and some design seals. Small sticks make between

5-10 seals $5.00 and large 20-30 seals $9.00. I don't remember the price

for a pound of chips.


The time you save can be used to eat chocolate gingerbread!     Misty



From: Elaine_Crittenden at dxpressway.com (Elaine Crittenden)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Sealing Wax

Date: 31 Mar 1997 19:31:48 GMT

Organization: Digital Xpressway - Dallas, TX


There is a company I used to have (downsized my company.)as a supplier called


They have not only the smaller wax sticks but ones large enough to have about

4 dozen "seals" in them, with a double arc per seal. Also metal stamps and

even stamp pads with real gold in them.

Aldine makes the wax used in the seals of official French government

documents, the rep told me. Good luck.  ;-)


Elaine Crittenden (Dallas TX) aka Lete bithe Spring (Steppes, Ansteorra)



From: jotl at owens.ridgecrest.ca.us (James of the Lake)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Sealing wax and seals

Date: 22 Apr 1997 03:42:29 GMT

Organization: Barony of Naevehjem


dshaw at cs.jhu.edu (David Shaw) wrote:

> I'm hunting around for a place where I can purchase sealing wax and a

> seal.  Ideally, it would be a place where I can design it and have them

> make the actual seal from my design.


> Does anyone know of a company that does that sort of thing?


Master Walthari does very fine work and sells the wax as well.  He also

has a webpage:


Baron Walthari von Harx, OL, OLS, CAA, QC

mka Carl W. Lemke Unique Jewelry

5301 Anchorage

El Paso, TX 79924

Email: clemke at whc.net

url: http://www.web-span.com/lemke/

Heraldic engraving, signet rings, pendant seals, desk seals and period

style jewelry.



                        jotl at ridgecrest.ca.us



Date: Fri, 30 May 1997 06:45:41 -0600

To: markh at risc.sps.mot.com (Mark S. Harris)

From: "Carl W. Lemke" <clemke at WHC.NET>

Subject: Re: Pages with images of wax seals


>Do you have a catalog? I've considered having this done for my arms.

>Not sure yet if I would do a ring or pendant or desk seal. Do you

>know which of these would be most proper for the middle of the 12th



I don't have a catalog but do have some flyers that I will send to you at

the address in your message.  Actually any of the three items would be

proper depending on what you want on the seal.  A ring or pendant seal is

considered a privy seal and as such usually just the shield portion of the

arms or just the crest is engraved on it.  A desk seal is considered a

grand seal and usually has a full achievement plus text around the outside.

Since the SCA doesn't register crests, most of the rings I do for SCA Folk

have just the shield portion of an achievement engraved on a shield shaped



Carl W. Lemke

SCA: Master Walthari (Baron Walthari von Harx, OL, OLS, CAA, QC)


Carl W. Lemke Unique Jewelry

5301 Anchorage

El Paso, TX 79924

Email: clemke at whc.net

url: http://www.web-span.com/lemke/

Heraldic engraving, signet rings, pendant seals, desk seals and period

style jewelry.



From: mittle at panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Source for wax seal?

Date: 24 Sep 1999 11:39:51 -0400

Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and UNIX, NYC


There are several Society artisans who make seals, signet rings, etc.  One

is Master Walthari, http://www.signetring.com/


Arval d'Espas Nord                                         mittle at panix.com



Subject: Re: [SCA-U] Jewelry/Casting sources

Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 09:54:36 -0500

From: william thomas powers <powers at CIS.OHIO-STATE.EDU>



> I'm starting to venture in casting/jewelry making to make wax seal

> matrices.  My study of seal say they were made by goldsmiths, therefore

> I assume they used jewelry techniques to create them.


> Does anyone on this list (or someone you know) have any period sources

> for jewelry techniques or better yet, seal making?


> Clare de Saint Denis, Barony of Nordskogen, Northshield, Middle Kingdom

> Modernly known as Dawn Vukson-Van Beek, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

> dawnv at gryph.com


I'd assume that the seals were engraved; only the basic "blank" might have

been cast.  "Divers Arts" has good information on casting of metals and

the making of engravers---I don't recall how much of their use he



"The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini" is full of him making dies for

the striking of medals (actually he's pretty full of himself as well).


I seeem to reall another renaissance work or two on the arts (Ceninni?)

but I'm more toward the early stuff in general and iron throughout.


Now if you go with engraving I can tell you how to build a cheap

engravers ball!


wilelm the smith



Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2001 19:30:11 -0500

From: rmhowe <MMagnusM at bellsouth.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu,

   - Regia Anglorum - North America <list-regia-us at netword.com>

Subject: Re: Seals?


Since a question on Seals has come up again:


Seals and Matrices (from a posting a year ago by ME)


Dawn wrote:

> I'm starting to venture in casting/jewelry making to

> make wax seal matrices.  My study of seal say they were

> made by goldsmiths, therefore I assume they used jewelry

> techniques to create them. Does anyone on this list (or

> someone you know) have any period sources

> for jewelry techniques or better yet, seal making?


Well, you could well start with:


A Guide to British Medieval Seals; by P.D.A. Harvey and Andrew

      McGuinness, the British Library and Public Record

      Office, ISBN 0-7123-0410-x, 1996, 133pp., many pictures.

        Obtainable from http://www.countrybookstore.co.uk/


You could also look at the seals in:


Egan, Geoff: Medieval Finds from London: 6, The Medieval

      Household, Daily Living c.1150-c.1450; Museum of London,

      The Stationery Office Ltd., 1998, ISBN 0112904904. This

      has a couple of more common seals for the ordinary man

      in it.


Finds Research Group: Datasheets 1-24 $13.50 Oxbow, contains

      an article on seals if I'm not mistaken. I can't find

      my copy at the moment. Available from Oxbowbooks.com

      for $13.50 as of this particulular week. (3/6/01)


Fox-Davies' books on Heraldry - especially the Art of


        Other books on Heraldry often contain information on



Kingsford, H: Seal Matrices with Screw-out Centres;

        Antiq. Journal 4, 1924  pp.249-56, with illustrations.


Jenkinson, Hilary: Some Notes on the Preservation Moulding and

      Casting of Seals; Antiq. Journal 4, 1924, pp.388-403.

      This deals mainly with preservation and copying

      techniques for archivists.


Jones, Michael: The Seals of John IV, Duke of Brittainy,

      1364-1399; Antiquaries Journal 55, 1975, pp366-81.


Pakula, Marvin H.: Heraldry and Armor of the Middle Ages;

        A.S. Barnes and Co., South Brunswick and New York,

      1972. Contains a number of seals but no matrices.


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.  Worth looking up.


Steane, John M.: The Archaeology of Medieval England and

      Wales; University of Ga. Press, 1984-5,

      ISBN 0820307556. Contains a two page history of seals

      with several citations in the bibliography and

      various pictures scattered throughout the book.


Ward Perkins, J B.: London Museum Medieval Catalogue 1940.

        Anglia Publishing, 1993. Catalogue of the wide-ranging

      collection: includes an article on seals. pp.294-8

      plus plates and illustrations, Book #16 24.50

      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)


Wilson, D.M.: Catalogue of the Antiquities of the Later Saxon

      Period - Anglo-Saxon Ornamental Metalwork 700-1100;

      British Museum Publications, 1964, ISBN 071411300.

      Contains two of the only three Anglo-Saxon seal

      matrices then known, the other being in Ivory. It

      contains Bishop Aethelwald's conical seal (mid-ninth

      C.) and Aelfric's seal-die.


Some I don't have:


Tonnochy, A.B.: Catalogue of British Seal Dies in the British

      Museum; London, 1952. Seems to be a major citation.


Heslop, T.A.: Engish Seals from the Mid-Ninth Century to 1100;

        Journal of the British Archaeological Assn. CXXXIII,

      1983, p.16.


Magnus Malleus, OL, GDH

Windmaster's Hill, Atlantia

(c) 3/06/2001 R. M. Howe

May be used or copied on closed subscribler based email lists

within the reenactor circle, but NOT to the SCA_Universitas

list, the Rialto or any open newsgroup. May be used in the

Florilegium or local newsletters.



From: Andy Dingley <dingbat at codesmiths.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Museum of wax seals

Date: Tue, 03 Feb 2004 23:38:57 +0000

Organization: Codesmiths, UK


I happened to be at the Bath Royal Literary &amp; Scientific

Institution tonight. Whilst browsing their web site, I found their

collection of wax seals. Not much as yet, but I know it's a popular

topic hereabouts.





From: Christine Huse <maria_elfsea at yahoo.com>

Date: July 18, 2005 1:04:51 PM CDT

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] 600 Year Old Papal Seals Found in Toilet Shaft




I found this article and thought it was of interest.






or http://tinyurl.com/7gglx


Sensational find in Germany: 600 year-old Papal seals

Greifswald, Germany 

15 July 2005 12:34


In one of the most sensational archaeological

discoveries in Germany, four papal seals dating back

600 years have been uncovered from a medieval toilet

shaft in the northeastern city of Greifswald,

officials said on Thursday.


The four round seals cast in lead date to the papacy

of Pope Bonifatius IX (1389-1404). The 3,5cm seals,

each weighing about 50g, bear the inscription

"BONIFATIUS VIIII" on one side and images of the

apostles Peter and Paul on the other.


Regional archaeology office director Hauke Joens said

the find -- in the shaft of a toilet on the campus of

Greifswald University -- was "sensational".


He noted that over the years, individual papal seals

would occasionally be found in various places. But the

Greifswald find was the first in which several papal

seals were discovered.


The seals were first discovered last week by

archaeologist Joerg Ansorge.


"When I turned up the first one, I was completely

calm," Ansorge said. "But then when there was a

second, a third and a fourth, my pulse rate shot up

very high," the 40-year-old added.


The discovery came amid excavation work for new water

pipelines on the university campus. The seals were

buried in a wooden toilet shaft about 3m deep.


At this point, the archaeologists could only surmise

that the four papal seals had perhaps been contained

in a bag which was then given up for lost when it

inadvertently fell into the toilet. But another theory

was that the seals were thieves' booty.


The excavation work is part of renovation going on to

help Greifswald University prepare for its 550th

anniversary celebrations in 2006. Officials doubt that

the papal seals were in any way connected to the

university's official founding in 1456. - Sapa-DPA


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org