SOM-72F255: Medieval personal seal matrix

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
CC License:

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Unique ID: SOM-72F255

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

A broken and incomplete Medieval cast copper-alloy pedestal type seal matrix with a circular face. The handle has been almost entirely truncated, and the upper third of the die has been lost, both to old breaks. The central pedestal type handle appears to have been circular in section from the scar, a triangular indent on the scar is possible a casting flaw. The matrix has a central design of a rampant lion on a triangular sgield with straight sides. There is some reddish material in the lion but this is almost certainly iron deposit rather than enamel as enamel would prevent the seal making an impression. The design is within a line border, and the surrounding legend is enclosed within an outer line border at the edge. The extant legend reads: [S' G]ALFRIDI DE TROV(V)[...] (Seal of Geoffrey of Trow). The matrix is now 22.4mm in diameter, 16.7 mm across and 5.3mm thick; it weighs 5.68g. The metal has an even dull-grey colour including the breaks.

The breaks to the seal may indicate deliberate destruction when the seal was taken out of use. The size of the matrix, less than 3 cm across, suggests a later 13th century date or later. The lack of ornamentation in the field around the shield would be unusual after the early 14th century suggesting a date of c. AD 1250-1330 (Harvey and MacGuiness 1996, 54, 57).

Two Geoffreys are noted at Trow, an estate within Alvediston, one in 1242, the other in 1333 (VCH Wiltshire). SOM-A9AFB4 from the same area is also from this manor.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: County / local importance

Class: personal
Inscription: [S' G]ALFRIDI DE TROV(V)[...]

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1250
Date to: Circa AD 1330

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 22.4 mm
Width: 16.7 mm
Thickness: 5.3 mm
Weight: 5.68 g
Diameter: 22.4 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Robert Webley
Identified by: Mr Robert Webley
Secondary identifier: Ms Laura Burnett

Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCC receipt 16720

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Heraldic
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Alvediston CP

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: 3 years ago
Updated: 3 years ago

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