- Museum number
Silver circular seal-matrix of the Muscovy Merchants, with a semi-circular handle with moulding on edge. The Coat of arms: ship surmounted by lion and two roses. Date and legend with foliate scrolls between words. Plaster and wax impressions.
- Production date
Diameter: 5.10 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from 'Catalogue of British Seal-Dies in the British Museum', A.B. Tonnochy, London 1952, cat. no. 158.
The arms are: 'harry wavy of six argent and azure, over all a ship of three masts in full sail proper, sails, pennants, and ensigns of the first, each charged with a cross gules all between three bezants, a chief or, on a pale between two roses gules seeded or, barbed vert, a lion passant guardant of the fifth.'
'Brit. Mus. Quarterly', iii, p. 15.
In 1555 a charter was granted by Philip and Mary to a joint-stock company under the control of two governors, four consuls, and twenty-four assistants to trade with Russia, communications with which had been opened up by the voyage of Chancellor in 1553, when he reached the White Sea and Archangel. The charter is published in Hakluyt's 'Voyages, Travels, and Discoveries', vol. i (1809), pp. 298-304, in which Sebastian Cabot is named as the first governor.
Councillor W. R. Power (see no. 155, registration no. 1928,0315.2) points out that there is at present in Mare Street, Hackney, a property known as Riga House, within a few yards of the old Hackney Black and White Mansion described in Walford's 'Old and New London', v, p. 519 as follows: 'Near the Church on the west side formerly stood the "Black and White House", built in the year 1578 by a Citizen of London, whose arms, with those of the Merchant Adventurers and the Russian Company, appeared over the chimney in one of the principal rooms and also in the windows of the great parlour.' He suggests that this merchant might have been a member of the Russia or Muscovy Company, and in coming to live at Hackney brought with him from town this seal and that of the Eastland Company, to be used as business demanded.
- On display (G46/dc15)
- Exhibition history
2013 6 Mar-14 Jul, London, V&A, Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars, 1509-168
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Formation of trading company
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number