NLM-7D37E1: Medieval seal matrix

Rights Holder: North Lincolnshire Museum
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Unique ID: NLM-7D37E1

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Silver seal matrix, as kindly identified by the finder. Cast oval plate with a central circular setting with upstanding rim. Behind this apparent setting two addorsed crescents appear as cut-outs in a back plate, which is actually integral to the matrix itself. At first sight, this seems to indicate the loss of a central stone, but when an impression is taken, the pair of crescents are carried over clearly. A circumferential legend in strongly defined inscribed letters reads: +AVE MARIA GRA PLENA [hail Mary, full of grace], which is the opening line of the prayer, the Hail Mary, deriving from the salutation of Mary by the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation. A separate round-section pin with thickened and expanded end looped back on itself is soldered to the flat back of the matrix, supplying both a means of suspension and a handle for its use. Had the putative central stone been transparent, the crescents might still have appeared, if only to the user of the matrix. Lunar associations of the Marian cult may be rooted in a pre-Christian dichotomy between feminine lunar and masculine solar characteristics, but are echoed in the Apocalypse of St John, and medieval depictions of the Virgin often showed her supported by a crescent moon. Suggested date: Medieval, 1300-1400. In view of the suspected age and material of the object it is to be submitted to the Treasure process, ref. 2022 T96.

Length: 24.2mm, Width: 21.2mm, Thickness (matrix): 2.1mm, Weight: 5.59gms


Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Submitted for consideration as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2022T96


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1300
Date to: Circa AD 1400

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 24.2 mm
Width: 21.2 mm
Thickness: 2.1 mm
Weight: 5.59 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 6th December 2021

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: NLM48963
Treasure case number: 2022T96

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Incised or engraved or chased

Spatial metadata

Region: East Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Lincolnshire (County)
District: West Lindsey (District)
To be known as: near Gainsborough

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NLM
Created: 7 months ago
Updated: 6 months ago

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