Collection online

seal-impression / seal

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Bronze seal-matrix of the Collegiate Chapel of St. Mary and the Angels, York. Pointed oval, with a ridge and loop at the back. The Virgin and Child in high relief, seated on a bench at each end of which is a candle in a candlestick. Above, two half-figures of angels under a small canopy supporting the Virgin's crown which is surmounted by an eight-pointed star. Below, under a trefoil arch, a half-figure of an ecclesiastic with vestments and a mitre kneeling to right in prayer. Legend, within pearled borders. With wax impression.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1226-1275
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 6.9 centimetres
    • Width: 4.4 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Content

  • Curator's comments

    Text from 'Catalogue of British Seal-Dies in the British Museum', A.B. Tonnochy, London 1952, cat. no. 863.
    'Antiq. Journ.', viii, p. 362; 'V.C.H. York', iii, p. 385.
    Apparently the same die as that exhibited to the Society of Antiquaries of London on December 6, 1827 ('Archaeologia', xxii, p. 423), being then in the possession of Sir Francis Freeling, Bart., and said to have been found on the coast near Dunwich, Suffolk.
    The figure at the foot is that of Archbishop Roger de Pont-l'Evêque, who founded the college between 1154 and 1161.
    The seal may have been made on the reconstitution of the college in 1258.
    The die is interesting by reason of traces of an older design for which the present has been substituted. Part of a Gothic canopy can be clearly seen, the side-shafts and the lower arch being filled with white metal. On the shafts the present candlesticks have been engraved, and the Virgin's head, the star, and the angels' arms are cut through the lower arch, the heads and bodies of the angels being superimposed upon the upper. A pearled border appears on the right arm of the lower arch. Whether the present design is a substitute for a complete earlier one, or whether it was adopted before the previous design had been finished, is uncertain.


  • Bibliography

    • Tonnochy 1952 863 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Found 1827.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: MCM4206

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