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sealing / seal-box

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Seal from diploma for membership of Beggar's Benison Society: anchor; phallus with attached weight; inscription; tin box.

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 1.8 inches
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Content

  • Curator's comments

    Found with M.567
    The Beggar's Benison was founded in 1732 in the port of Anstruther, north of Edinburgh, by a group of local lairds and merchants. Formed as a jovial society for the entertainment of libertines, the underlying link was tax evasion and the support of free trade. Various manuscripts and artefacts relating to the society are held at St Andrews University.
    For a full account of the Beggar's Benison society, see J. Peakman, 'Lascivious Bodies. A sexual history of the eighteenth century', London 2004, chapter 6: 'Scottish Secret Sex Societies', pp. 129-147; see also D. Stevenson, 'The Beggar's Benison: Sex Clubs of Enlightenment Scotland and their Rituals', East Linton, 2001.


  • Exhibition history


    2007 Oct 11-2008 Jan 27, London, Barbican Gallery, 'Seduced: the art of sex'

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: MCN2043

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