Cloth Seal Die / Matrix, English, 14th century

Cloth Seal Die / Matrix, English, 14th century, Image & Found by Chris March.
Found in Somerset, ?mm.

A copper alloy die showing a crowned head facing, plume? S' SUBSIDII PANNORVM around in rounded, undeveloped Lombardic.

"Although no actual English cloth seals can be shown to predate the last quarter of the 14th century, a matrix, and modern and ancient impressions in wax from two others, provide evidence for what is probably an earlier series. The matrices had diameters of c. 26 mm - larger than those of most recorded seals of medieval date. ... 45A crowned king's head facing, (initial device) S: SVBSIDII
PANNORVM (rounded letters, somewhat simpler in style than later Lombardic) around. ... The seals from these matrices could have been of wax, which would militate against survival in the archaeological record. The relatively large diameters (26 mm) might have been considered more appropriate for wax than for lead, or the possibility of using lead may not have occurred to the authorities until a later date - the earliest recorded lead seals for cloths have stamps with diameters of only c. 15 mm - though seal diameters seem soon to have increased." Egan, G. 1987 PhD Thesis, p.33 - 36 & Fig.3A (the initial mark of the inscription on the seal described in this quote is a star or sun whereas this matrix shows what may be a plume or three plumes. This mark maybe similar to that shown on Fig.3B [ibid], which Egan has described as a raspberry or a bunch of grapes.)

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