KENT-561BA6: KENT-561BA6. Post-Medieval lead cloth seal.

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: KENT-561BA6

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

A lead cloth sheild decorated on both sides with a sheild, on which is a WS, with two supporters.


Geoff Egan has identified the object as a Dutch or Russian cloth or furrier.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MODERN
Period from: MODERN
Period to: MODERN
Date from: Circa AD 1900
Date to: Circa AD 1950

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 2.7 mm
Weight: 3.49 g
Diameter: 14.31 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 1st January 1985

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Andrew Richardson
Identified by: Dr Andrew Richardson

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Kent (County)
District: Gravesham (District)

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

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  • Paul Cannon wrote @ 20:35:33 on the 23rd December 2011.

    Portable antiquities scheme LON-311872 would appear to be the same seal. I believe the supporters of the coat of arms may be squirrels.

  • Paul Cannon wrote @ 23:48:56 on the 7th February 2012.

    My suggestion is that this seal and three others apparently identical or very similar on the PAS database are probably Johnnie Walker whisky seals. Each of them has a full coat of arms, the same on both sides. The distinctive feature of the arms are the squirrel supporters. Even on the poorly preserved examples in the database the bushy upright tails are obvious on all of them. I believe that the arms are those of the town of Kilmarnock in Scotland: see for example The crest, above the shield is also distinctive, consisting of a hand with the third and fourth fingers folded down. Even on the small scale of the lead seals the crest there can be identified as such a hand. The motto associated with the arms appears on ‘ribbons’ above and below. This is also a feature on the seals. A feature on the arms of the seals, not present on the town arms are the letters ‘W & S’ across the shield itself. This is most clearly seen in KENT-561BA6. It is this which links the seals to the famous whisky manufacturer. See; and Both these are objects in the collections of museums in Kilmarnock and clearly show the amended arms being used by the company as part of its branding. In the timeline on the official Johnnie Walker website under the year 1906 is another example. The letters probably stand for Walker & Sons. The history of the firm goes back to the early part of the 19th century in the town of Kilmarnock. The firm were associated with the town and the manufacture of whisky there until 2011 when I believe the factory was finally closed. I wonder if the seals were attached to an individual bottle of whisky, perhaps to indicate its quality or to show that the cork had not been tampered with. Alternatively it may have been attached to a crate or other container of whisky bottles. If my identification is correct I would suggest that these seals probably date to the first half of the 20th century and not the earlier dates currently suggested for them. The four seals are KENT-561BA6; LON-311872; NLM-802EF4 & LIN-4CA218. The last of these is currently described as a token. This is not the only example where high value alcoholic drinks have lead sealings associated with them. The Bagseals gallery [ ] has images of no less than eight for champagne (refs. 108-115) and one for calvados, a French apple brandy (ref. 78).

Audit data

Recording Institution: KENT
Created: 12 years ago
Updated: 11 months ago

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