Keys to the Past

Glossary

Seal

A metal object carried by some one of Medieval power to seal documents. A letter or charter was written by or for a lord. Wax was heated up till it melted. The document had some wax poured on to it, and while still hot a seal was used to create an impression on the wax. This could be used in conjunction with, or alone from, a signature. An individual's seal could not be replicated and so was a mark of authenticity. The term seal can refer to the piece of metal or the wax used. Seals would have included a coat of arms or a depiction of the lord. They are sometimes still used with important documents on behalf of large groups.

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