LVPL-6C2EA2: Medieval seal matrix

Rights Holder: National Museums Liverpool
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Unique ID: LVPL-6C2EA2

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

A complete cast copper alloy seal matrix in excellent condition dating to the medieval period (c.AD 1300-1400).

The object is conical with a hexagonal handle that rises from a circular die. The handle consists of a pointed collar, atop of which is a lozenge shaped suspension loop with a circular perforation. No orientation mark is visible on the handle.

The die has a central design of splayed leaves at the top, underneath which are two human faces positioned in profile and facing each other. On the left of the die appears to be a male figure who has more defined features than his counterpart which includes a pointed nose and jaw-length hair that flicks outwards at the bottom. Opposite is a less defined woman who appears to have long, straight hair. Her facial features are not well defined. Below the individuals is a sleeping lion.

The central design is surrounded by a beaded border and then an inscription that reads clockwise from the five pointed star: PRIVE SV E POY CONV followed by a striding animal or floral decoration. The inscription is French meaning 'I am private and little known' which is also surrounded by a beaded border. The central design and the inscription are made to an extremely high quality.

Seals that depict the faces of a man or woman are usually regarded as 'love seals' used for sending love letters to one another, however, the inscription on this particular seal does not correspond to the usual inscriptions given to such love seals such as seen on: KENT-C617F2 and WMID-C93B48. Additionally, lions are also not a common feature on love seals.

There is no direct comparison to this seal on the PAS database, seal with a similar design but without the profiled faces includes ESS-0DEEFE.

Length: 21mm
Diameter: 21mm
Weight: 11.4g

Find of note status

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

Class: anonymous
Inscription: * PRIVE SV E POY CONV

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


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: 21 mm
Weight: 11.4 g
Diameter: 21 mm

Personal details

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Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: North West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
District: Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Stapeley

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LVPL
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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