A Byzantine Seal Blank, ca. 10th - 11th Century CE
- This object qualifies for free USA shipping and a flat rate fee of $60 if shipping internationally.
In order to produce a lead seal, one first had to obtain a blank lead disk with a channel running through it such as this example. Such disks, either completely flat or with a raised central channel, were produced by casting. Slate molds for their production have been found in the excavations at Corinth; each shows a deep groove meant to receive a wire which, when removed from the casting, would leave the necessary channel. Of course, proper alignment of the two halves of the mold was important, and in order to ensure it, molds have small depressions – and corresponding mounds – near their edges. But occasionally the fit was not perfect and there are seals with an overlap or projection of metal halfway between their two surfaces. The diameter of blanks varied considerably from under one centimeter to almost eight centimeters for especially large seals; the most common formats range between 1.5 and 4.5 cm. One may imagine that in larger cities – particularly Constantinople – lead blanks of all sizes were available, but in more remote localities it is clear that only some sizes were cast, for seals of provincial officials survive that were consistently struck on undersized blanks. (Oikonomides, Nicolas “Byzantine Lead Seals” Dumbarton Oaks 1985, page 5, #4a-c.).
Condition: Intact in good condition overall.
PLEASE NOTE: THE WHITE COATING ON EARLY LEAD SEALS IS LEAD OXIDE AND VERY TOXIC IF INGESTED. LEAD SEALS MUST BE HANDLED WITH CARE AND SHOULD NEVER BE HANDLED BY CHILDREN UNLESS UNDER SUPERVISION.
Dimensions: Width: 1 cm (1/2 inch)
Provenance: Private California collection, ex Malter galleries.
Sands of Time provides a lifetime, unconditional guarantee of authenticity and provenance. Every object you purchase from us is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, stating culture, provenance, and age.
Furthermore, we conduct due diligence to ensure the item, to the best of our knowledge, has not been illegally obtained from an excavation, architectural monument, public institution, or private property. Wherever possible, reference is made to existing collections or publications.Wherever possible, reference is made to existing collections or publications.
We ship Tuesday to Friday with FedEx and usually same day if your order is received before 2pm. Within the continental USA, packing, shipping and insurance is free. Depending on size and destination, delivery times range from one to five business days.
For overseas shipments we charge a small flat rate which includes packing, preparation of all customs paperwork, insurance and carrier fees in compliance with all USA and International customs requirements. Overseas shipments are sent using either USPS Priority Mail or FedEx but contact us if you have a shipping preference. International customers are responsible for all duties and taxes.