- Museum number
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 Africans 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.
- Production date
Length: 3.35 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- For the legend, established as the Company's motto in 1672, which made explicit the link between royal patronage and commercial prosperity, see W.Pettigrew, Freedom's Debt, The Royal African Company and the Politics of the Atlantic Slave Trade 1672-1752, Williamsburg Virginia 2013, p. 88. At the time of writing Pettigrew did not know of the seal-die's existence but has since pointed out that the seal-die is the legal expression of the Company. In his book he explains the thinking behind the new name and motto of the company as seen on this die in the context of international trade and empire.
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.
- On display (G1/fc14)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Transferred from the Department of Manuscripts.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1838,1232.88
Miscellaneous number: 1838,XXXV.222 (MSS 1838 transfer list)