This is a rare medieval bronze armorial seal, dating to the 14th century. It would have once belonged to a knight, bearing his crest and arms. The armorial displays a 'rampant lion debruised by a riband'. Two large feathers (Ostrich?) crest his great-helm, worn at jousting tournaments and in battle. The field is decorated with flowering branches or rosebuds, referring to the chivalric ideas of the period. The seal is inscribed with the owner's name in a form of 'Lombardic' / 'Black-Letter' script of the late 14th century. This reads 'Regnallt de Tonneville'. The seal is of a 'chessman' type. These were extremely important objects to their owners, seldom misplaced or lost as credit cards are kept today. On the death of the owner, their seals were broken up and destroyed. This example is clearly intact, although the top of the suspension ring is snapped (the likely cause of the original loss?). Similar armorial seals have been recorded from Cambridge (SF-43A30C) and Northampton (IHS-0BB4C1).
OBJECT: Seal Matrice
DATE: c. 14th century A.D.
SIZE: 36mm x 27mm
WEIGHT: 30 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. European Private Collection, France
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