This is a rare medieval bronze armorial seal, dating to the 15th century. It would have once belonged to a nobleman, bearing his crest and arms. Sadly the design of the seal has greatly worn in the ground, being made from copper-alloy (and gold mercurial gilded) leads to such degradation. What survives gives us a set of arms (as I read it) as "on a bend three martlets", the lack of any discernable tinctures only limits my identification, but the most likely candidate (with these arms) will be from the Brabazon family. If so, then the seal could have only belonged to a Sir John Brabazon who fell at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 (alongside King Richard III). As such the seal should read "S. Iohanis de Brabas" in Black-letter script. The design of the helm surmounting the shield (is about the right date) with the crest of a winged bird. The seal is sadly bent to one side, indicating that it possibly saw action, as these seals never left the owner side, being used as a form of identification and authentication as credit cards are used today. Interestingly Sir John's grandson was William Brabazon (Lord Justice of Ireland) who jousted for England in Field of the Cloth of Gold. It is possible the seal was used by Sir John's son also 'John Brabazon' of Eastwell, in Leicestershire. Similar armorial seals have been recorded from Cambridge (SF-43A30C) and Northampton (IHS-0BB4C1). This fine and rare object is worthy of further research.
OBJECT: Seal Matrice
DATE: c. 15th century A.D.
SIZE: 36mm x 27mm
WEIGHT: 29.7 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. English Private Collection
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