seal (Scope note)

This term has two very different meanings in the literature. - The most widely used meaning is referred to here, which is an object used to make an impression as a form of signature to secure property or leave a permanent mark on a document. In many cases seals also had amuletic signifiance because of their imagery or the materials from which they were made. - In Roman and Medieval Europe the term seal is used to refer to the wax or metal impression (see seal impression) whereas the object used to make the impression is called a seal-matrix or seal-die as it was usually made in the same manner as a coin-die. See also Object Name intaglio. Dominique Collon (ed.), ''7000 Years of Seals", London: BMP 1997.