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Elke Cwiertnia & Paul Dryburgh
The National Archives
BIG Ideas seminar (11 January 2016)
Materiality Matters:
New Approach...
3
Interdisciplinary research
4
Polarized light microscope
Questions: Material?
Technique?
Origin of Material?
Methodology: Visual Examination
Material ...
5
Selected Wax Seals
Edward I TNA E39/93/16 Obverse
Henry I TNA SC13/H88 ObverseStephen TNA DL10/18 Reverse TNA E26 (selec...
6
Dimensions
E42_316 Reverse (Henry I)
a maximal depth of seal (figures)
b depth of edges
ri radius, inner circle of legen...
7
Diameter (in cm) of examined Great Seals 1100-1307
#
# not a Great Seal, but associated (Royal Seal)
8
Average depth of Great Seals 1100-1307 in cm
min./edges in blue, max./heights in green
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
Henry I Maud St...
9
Direction of tag/cord
E42/317 (Henry I) SC13/H 88 (Henry I) DL10/16 (Maud 1141) DL10/18 (Stephen 1141-44) E42/527 (Henry...
10
Colour – Examples (Royal Seals)
Henry I SC13/H88 Stephen DL10/18
Maud DL10_17 Obverse and Reverse
Henry II Richard I E4...
11
6 December 1189
in Dover
(top: DL10/42,
right: E40/14896)
22 May 1198
(top: CCA B 348,
right: CCA B 349)
Great Seals – ...
12
DL 10/176DL 10/177
Great Seals – Edward I (1272-1307), 1291
13
CCA_C76
Seals of Richard I (1189-99)
Great Seal
Messina 28 Feb. 1191
Exchequer seal
Westminster Abbey
Muniments XLVII
14
Count of
Mortain
King
Seals of John (1199-1216)
TNA DL10/33
TNA C 109/86 (4) Burghley House
TNA DL10/56
15
Seals of Edward I (1272-1307)
Great Seal TNA E 42/505 obverse and reverse Great Seal TNA DL10/146 obverse and reverse
P...
16
Material & Techniques – Quality & Value
Origin
Mining of
mineral
pigments
Merchant,
Colourman
E26/1 E silk
Richard I CC...
Hanseatic trade – wax imports 1351-99 England
Lloyd
1991
No data
18
Material & Techniques – Quality & Value
Origin
Mining of
mineral
pigments
Merchant,
Colourman
E26/1 E silk
Richard I CC...
19
Quality of Sealing Wax – Analysis
Stephen DL 10/18
XRF analysis on a red seal
Barons letter E26_1_K
Canterbury Seals:
S...
20
Quality of Sealing Wax – Reproduction
Verdigris in beeswax, heated for several hours
Verdigris in beeswax
left: after m...
The Barons Letter – Seals (copy A)
21
The Barons’ Letter (E 26/3 A and B)
22
A B
What is the Barons’ Letter? Historical Context
• Key document in Anglo-
Scots and Anglo-Papal
history
• Edward I and the
c...
Cord E 26/1T (seals E 26/2, nos. 29-31, 100)
24
Augustus Vincent (1624), reproduced Society of
Antiquaries (1729),overpainted by Henry Cole (1840s)
25
Lord Howard de Walden, Some Feudal Lords and Their
Seals (London, 1903; reprinted 1984)
26
Seal of Henry of Lancaster (A 60, B series cord E)
27
Methodology
• Record evidence:
o What questions and answers does the historical record
supply?
• Visual examination:
o How...
The Lincoln Parliament (January 1301)
• Nine earls and eighty barons (89 in total)
summoned;
• Seven earls and ninety-six ...
Record Evidence
• 20 February & 13 March 1301 – payments to John of Winchester
and Peter of Colingbourne, clerks of the ki...
Colour profile of seals on the Barons’ Letter
31
Material profile of seals on the Barons’ Letter
• Red – even mixture of beeswax and (pigment) mercury
sulphide;
• Pale Gre...
Ralph de Monthermer (B and 98)
33
Thomas of Lancaster, earl of Lancaster (1A and 58)
34
Cords in close up
35
M S Y Z
36
Cord Type Braiding type and colour E 26/1 E 26/2
R-1_r R-1, red 29 18
R-1_g R-1, green 8 7
R-1_rg R-1, red and green 0 ...
The Cords and the Sealing Process
37
Knots (A 75, B cord E)
38
The Wax Seals Project in Action
39
Arrangement of the seals
• No order by status apparent across the document but
perhaps on each cord;
• Seals arranged by c...
Edmund Mortimer, lord of Wigmore (A 75, B cord E)
41
Arrangement of the cords
42
E 26/3B (dorse)
OBS 1/887/12
Outcomes / Conclusions
• New measurement method
• Importance of seal angle to attachment
• Pigment amount varies in same-c...
THANK YOU.
44
Materiality Matters: New Approaches to Medieval Wax Seals Studies
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Materiality Matters: New Approaches to Medieval Wax Seals Studies

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Elke Cwiertnia & Paul Dryburgh The National Archives BIG Ideas seminar (11 January 2016)

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Materiality Matters: New Approaches to Medieval Wax Seals Studies

  1. 1. Elke Cwiertnia & Paul Dryburgh The National Archives BIG Ideas seminar (11 January 2016) Materiality Matters: New Approaches to Medieval Wax Seals Studies
  2. 2. 3 Interdisciplinary research
  3. 3. 4 Polarized light microscope Questions: Material? Technique? Origin of Material? Methodology: Visual Examination Material Analysis & Interdisciplinary research on material history Materiality of medieval wax seals
  4. 4. 5 Selected Wax Seals Edward I TNA E39/93/16 Obverse Henry I TNA SC13/H88 ObverseStephen TNA DL10/18 Reverse TNA E26 (selection) Henry II TNA E42/527 Reverse
  5. 5. 6 Dimensions E42_316 Reverse (Henry I) a maximal depth of seal (figures) b depth of edges ri radius, inner circle of legend ro radius, outer circle of legend Ø diameter L height of legend
  6. 6. 7 Diameter (in cm) of examined Great Seals 1100-1307 # # not a Great Seal, but associated (Royal Seal)
  7. 7. 8 Average depth of Great Seals 1100-1307 in cm min./edges in blue, max./heights in green 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 Henry I Maud Stephen Henry II Richard I John Edward I cm # not a Great Seal, but associated (Royal Seal) #
  8. 8. 9 Direction of tag/cord E42/317 (Henry I) SC13/H 88 (Henry I) DL10/16 (Maud 1141) DL10/18 (Stephen 1141-44) E42/527 (Henry II 1155) Henry the Young King DL10/42 (Richard I 1189) C 109/86 (4) (John 1189?) DL10/146 (Edward I) DL10/56 (Edward I)
  9. 9. 10 Colour – Examples (Royal Seals) Henry I SC13/H88 Stephen DL10/18 Maud DL10_17 Obverse and Reverse Henry II Richard I E42/310 Edward I DL10_146 E327/80 * all at TNA E327/78 E42/527
  10. 10. 11 6 December 1189 in Dover (top: DL10/42, right: E40/14896) 22 May 1198 (top: CCA B 348, right: CCA B 349) Great Seals – Richard I (1189-99)
  11. 11. 12 DL 10/176DL 10/177 Great Seals – Edward I (1272-1307), 1291
  12. 12. 13 CCA_C76 Seals of Richard I (1189-99) Great Seal Messina 28 Feb. 1191 Exchequer seal Westminster Abbey Muniments XLVII
  13. 13. 14 Count of Mortain King Seals of John (1199-1216) TNA DL10/33 TNA C 109/86 (4) Burghley House TNA DL10/56
  14. 14. 15 Seals of Edward I (1272-1307) Great Seal TNA E 42/505 obverse and reverse Great Seal TNA DL10/146 obverse and reverse Privy Seals TNA E404_481_3 (12-15) Reverse of “13”Deputed seal for Scotland TNA E 39/93/16
  15. 15. 16 Material & Techniques – Quality & Value Origin Mining of mineral pigments Merchant, Colourman E26/1 E silk Richard I CCA B348 Stephen DL 10/18 Henry II E40/6685 John DL10/56 Edward DL10/177 Application Technique Trade & Treatment Henry the Young King
  16. 16. Hanseatic trade – wax imports 1351-99 England Lloyd 1991 No data
  17. 17. 18 Material & Techniques – Quality & Value Origin Mining of mineral pigments Merchant, Colourman E26/1 E silk Richard I CCA B348 Stephen DL 10/18 Henry II E40/6685 John DL10/56 Edward DL10/177 Application Technique Trade & Treatment Henry the Young King
  18. 18. 19 Quality of Sealing Wax – Analysis Stephen DL 10/18 XRF analysis on a red seal Barons letter E26_1_K Canterbury Seals: SC13_A163, E211_68 E25_25 Maud DL10/17
  19. 19. 20 Quality of Sealing Wax – Reproduction Verdigris in beeswax, heated for several hours Verdigris in beeswax left: after mixing right: aged Copper and beeswax
  20. 20. The Barons Letter – Seals (copy A) 21
  21. 21. The Barons’ Letter (E 26/3 A and B) 22 A B
  22. 22. What is the Barons’ Letter? Historical Context • Key document in Anglo- Scots and Anglo-Papal history • Edward I and the community of England’s response to papal claims of overlordship in Scotland 23 Edward I (1239-1307)
  23. 23. Cord E 26/1T (seals E 26/2, nos. 29-31, 100) 24
  24. 24. Augustus Vincent (1624), reproduced Society of Antiquaries (1729),overpainted by Henry Cole (1840s) 25
  25. 25. Lord Howard de Walden, Some Feudal Lords and Their Seals (London, 1903; reprinted 1984) 26
  26. 26. Seal of Henry of Lancaster (A 60, B series cord E) 27
  27. 27. Methodology • Record evidence: o What questions and answers does the historical record supply? • Visual examination: o How were the seals arranged on the cords? o How were the seals attached to the document? • Material analysis: o What pigments were used in making the seals? o Can we establish similarities and differences between the seal pairs and those on the same cords? 28
  28. 28. The Lincoln Parliament (January 1301) • Nine earls and eighty barons (89 in total) summoned; • Seven earls and ninety-six barons (103 in total) put their names to the Barons’ Letter; • Ninety-five men sealed the Letter; eight did not. • Thirty-one of those who sealed the Barons’ Letter, however, were not summoned to Parliament. 29
  29. 29. Record Evidence • 20 February & 13 March 1301 – payments to John of Winchester and Peter of Colingbourne, clerks of the king’s wardrobe, for supplying to Alexander le Convers, who is to go to the magnates of England then with the Prince of Wales in the marches of Wales, green wax and silk laces, with which he is to cause the letters of the magnates of England to the Pope to be sealed and dispatched; • 24 February 1301 – further payment of 5s. 7d. to John of Winchester for a leather chest in which the letters patent sealed with the seals of the magnates of England to be sent to the Pope are to be placed and kept safely, and 3 lbs. of cotton with which to keep the seals safely [British Library Additional MS 7966 (Wardrobe Book, 1300-1), f. 32v] 30
  30. 30. Colour profile of seals on the Barons’ Letter 31
  31. 31. Material profile of seals on the Barons’ Letter • Red – even mixture of beeswax and (pigment) mercury sulphide; • Pale Green – uneven mixture of pale and dark green beeswax, with a copper-based pigment, possibly verdigris; • Dark Green – even mixture of beeswax with a copper- based pigment, possibly verdigris; • Brown – generally an even mixture of beeswax and (possibly) a copper-based pigment. 32
  32. 32. Ralph de Monthermer (B and 98) 33
  33. 33. Thomas of Lancaster, earl of Lancaster (1A and 58) 34
  34. 34. Cords in close up 35 M S Y Z
  35. 35. 36 Cord Type Braiding type and colour E 26/1 E 26/2 R-1_r R-1, red 29 18 R-1_g R-1, green 8 7 R-1_rg R-1, red and green 0 3 R-1_y R-1, yellow 0 1 R-1b_rn R-1, red and natural (bleached?) 3 0 R-2_r R-2, red 3 9 R-2_n R-2, natural (bleached?) 1 5 R-2_rg R-2, red and green 1 4 R-2_g R-2, green 0 1 R-2_nrg R-2, natural (bleached?), red, green 0 4 R-2_y R-2, yellow 0 2 R-3_r R-3, red 1 0 R-4_r R-4, red 1 0 R-4_g R-4, green 1 2 R-4_rg R-4, red, green 0 1 R-4_y R-4, yellow 0 1
  36. 36. The Cords and the Sealing Process 37
  37. 37. Knots (A 75, B cord E) 38
  38. 38. The Wax Seals Project in Action 39
  39. 39. Arrangement of the seals • No order by status apparent across the document but perhaps on each cord; • Seals arranged by cord vertically not horizontally across the document; • Difference in order of seals on some cords; same seals not always paired with each other 40
  40. 40. Edmund Mortimer, lord of Wigmore (A 75, B cord E) 41
  41. 41. Arrangement of the cords 42 E 26/3B (dorse) OBS 1/887/12
  42. 42. Outcomes / Conclusions • New measurement method • Importance of seal angle to attachment • Pigment amount varies in same-coloured seals • ‘Green’ seals can be achieved without pigment • Historians, sigillographers and scientists should combine to enter consistent and comprehensive data into an international database of seals • Many possibilities for future research SC13/H88
  43. 43. THANK YOU. 44

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