Abbey Seal at the British Museum

The Seal of Inchaffrey Abbey

The Seal of Inchaffrey Abbey

I always love seals and this one is really pretty. This seal belongs to Inchaffrey Abbey, which was founded in 1200. This seal makes a double-sided impression. The front of the seal depicts their patron saint, St. John, with a book and a pen or palm leaf. He is standing in a Gothic building I assume is the church of the abbey, but the label didn’t share that with me. The back shows an eagle, the symbol of St. John. The seal is made of bronze and made between 1260 and 1300. Seals were important then, as they are today, as a way of assuring that the correspondence, order, etc. was actually from the person or authority it said it was. The idea was to make them detailed enough and distinct enough that people would be able to recognize it, without making it too complicated for your medium, in this case wax.

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