Cloth Seal, Switzerland, St Gallen

Cloth Seal, Switzerland, St Gallen, Image by Dario Darosławski, Found by Friend Cloth Seal, Switzerland, St Gallen, Image by Dario, Found by FriendDarosławski.
Found on Thames Foreshore, 25mm.

Eagle displayed (possibly double-headed) // bear with collar, possibly S (G?) below

Probably a two-disc cloth seal from St Gallen, Switzerland. For a parallel see No.165, Fig.27, p.73 [Egan, G., Cloth Seals, p.43-86 in Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum Medieval Catalogue, Part 3, ed. Peter Saunders, 2001], “These seals were for linens or fustians (mixed linen and cotton fabrics) from the area around Lake Constance. St Gallen was one of the main centres in Europe for the production of these fine textiles in the late medieval period to which these seals have been attributed … though the apparent later contexts for some parallels found in London may mean the stamps continued in use into the sixteenth century … Probably late 15th-century. The bear is the heraldic device of the canton (the absence of a collar on its neck suggests prima facie a date prior to 1475, after which the bear on coins issued by the canton wears a ceremonial one in this position).”
A further three St Gallen seals of this type can be seen in A Group of Seals Found at Bankside from St. Gallen, Linens or Fustians, G. Egan, Transactions of the London & Middlesex Archaeological Society incorporating the Middlesex Local History Council, Volume 31, 1980, Nos. 1, 2, & 3, Pl.1, “The eagle, which appears on many issues, is single-headed from 1424 (the earliest dated coins from here) onwards to an undated series perhaps minted until 1529; from 1563 until well into the next century it is double-headed... Assuming that the dies for the city's cloth seals were, like those for the coins, changed to keep up with the differences in the heraldry, the single-headed eagle... on Nos. 1-3 implies a date for the group prior to the last quarter of the 15th century.” Yet again the distinctive dating feature, in this case the eagles head, is not clear on this seal.

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