Walrus ivory seal matrix

This matrix is made of walrus ivory, and was used for sealing documents with wax. It was made in the late 11th Century, and was found during excavations on Hungate in Lincoln.

The image on the seal shows a monk praying in front of a desk, with the hands of God (‘manus dei’) coming out of the clouds above him, blessing him. The legend around the image reads ‘SIGNO SIGILLATUR LEGATIO’, followed by a blank where a name would have been. This suggests that the seal was used by a religious person, possibly one with connections to the Pope.

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