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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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seal-impression / seal

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1838,0125.2

  • Description

    Oval bronze seal-matrix of the Royal African Company with moulded socket at back. A shield of arms, or, an elephant azure, on his back a quadrangular castle argent masoned proper; on the sinister tower a flagstaff and banner gules, on banner a cross, on the dexter corner of the escutcheon a canton quarterly of France and England. Crest, on a ducal coronet or an anchor erect sable, cabled of the first, between two dragons' wings expanded argent. Supporters, two African blacks proper vested round the waist with a skirt argent, banded round the temples or thereon feathers erect of various colours; each holding in his hand an arrow or barbed and feathered argent. Legend. Wax impression.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1662
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 3.35 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Language

        Latin
      • Inscription Content

        REGIO. FLORET. PATROCINIO. COMMERCIUM. COMMERCIOQUE. REGNUM
      • Inscription Translation

        By Royal patronage trade flourishes, by trade the realm.
  • Curator's comments

    Text from 'Catalogue of British Seal-Dies in the British Museum', A.B. Tonnochy, London 1952, cat. no. 159.
    B.M. 'Cat. of Seals', no. 14721.
    Cf. Add. MS. 6331, f. 1; Noorthouck, 'History of London', p. 888, pi. iii, London, 1773.

  • Bibliography

    • Tonnochy 1952 159 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G46/dc15

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1838

  • Acquisition notes

    Transferred from the Department of Manuscripts.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1838,0125.2

  • Additional IDs

    • 1838,1232.88
    • 1838,XXXV.222 (MSS 1838 transfer list)
Seal-matrix; Royal African Company; bronze; oval; moulded socket at back; shield of arms; crest; two African supporters; legend; wax impression.

Seal-matrix; Royal African Company; bronze; oval; moulded socket at back; shield of arms; crest; two African supporters; legend; wax impression.

Image description

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Object reference number: MCN10886

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