This is a medieval lead Equestrian bulla, depicting a mounted knight with a drawn sword. He is wearing chain-mail, a great helm, and he carries a shield. The horse is caparisoned and bears a livery of a hunting horn. The back of the bulla also bears a large hunting horn. The seal is inscribed in Lombardic script reading to me as: -----WAR//D: BU-----PNCIPIS:HURAI---- "Sigillum:EDWARD" the lettering WAR//D: is clear and the two // I have placed to represent horses legs passing between the inscription. From the coinage of Edward the Black Prince, we find the title PRn CPS being used for Prince, thus the lettering PNCIPIS may be read as such? If indeed this is a bulla seal of a royal prince, I have yet to find one with an armorial of a hunting horn, it may be a jousting or tournament livery that during this period was a very popular sport. Such a lead bulla could have been used to authenticate an important document, or be passed as a hunting or tournament badge.
OBJECT: Bulla seal
DATE: c. 1250 - 1300 AD
SIZE: 44mm diameter
WEIGHT: 34.78 grams
PROVENANCE: Old UK Collection, Ex. M. Hay
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