This beautiful silver seal matrix of the early 14th century has a bell-shaped cast form, with six facets.

The handle has a pierced trefoil suspension loop. The circular matrix is centred by an armorial shield with engrailed outer edge within an intricate rosette of Gothic tracery. It is inscribed around the outer edge 'SIGILLVM WALTERI DE THORNTON' (The seal of Walter de Thornton), with a small six-pointed star at the start of the inscription and a similar engraved star on the top of the seal to assist positioning the impression. This is a unique piece, made by a skilled engraver. Seal matrices were commonly made of brass, bronze, latten, pewter, or lead. A silver matrix would have been employed by a person of rank; in this case, someone entitled to bear arms.

Provenance

Metal detected find near Lichfield and declared Treasure.


The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery

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