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Seal matrix

Seal matrix

  • Place of origin:

    England, Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1553-1554 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, cast and engraved

  • Museum number:

    M.118-1978

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, room 58b, case 5

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Object Type
This seal matrix was pressed upon warm wax to create a personalised image and act as a secure seal for documents. A seal denoted the legality of the document and the identification of the issuing authority or individual.

Heraldry
The matrix bears the full heraldic 'achievement' of Sir John Constable. It comprises a shield with emblems, a helmet, a crest and mantling. The shield is in the form known as 'Tuscan' and bears the heraldic emblems describing Constable's descent. The barred helmet facing to the side indicates his rank as a Knight. The mantling takes the form of elaborate scrolling foliage, and the emblem of the crest is that of a dragon's head.

Physical description

Seal with the arms of Constable

Place of Origin

England, Great Britain (made)

Date

1553-1554 (made)

Artist/maker

unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Silver, cast and engraved

Marks and inscriptions

Inscription: 'THE: ARMES: OF IOHNE: CONSTABLE: OF: HALLSAM: KNYGHT: LORD: OF HOLDERNES: AND: OF: ALL:THE: LIBERTIES: OF: THE: SAME'

Dimensions

Diameter: 7 cm, Depth: 1.5 cm, Depth: 4 cm with flap up

Object history note

Made for Sir John Constable of Halsham, Yorkshire, (died 1587), probably to mark his elevation to the knighthood in 1553
Made in England

Labels and date

British Galleries:
PERSONAL SEALS

Coats of arms were used as a personal signature not just by the very powerful but by many members of the gentry, including women, and by holders of various offices. After about 1550 it became common for gentlemen to wear a signet ring with their family arms. The revolving seal ring was made for a member of the Throckmorton family and shows their Falcon crest. It also bears the coat of arms of the more powerful Carew family, because of the alliance through marriage of the two families. The large seal would have been used to authorise important documents. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Probably 1553-1554

Categories

Personal accessories; Metalwork

Collection code

MET

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Qr_O11006
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