Greetings Caileigh and Furukusu,
My best recommendation for starting on seal is a book
I got last year from our friends at David Brown/Oxbow
Harvey, P.D.A. and McGuinness, A Guide to British
Medieval Seals, British Library and Public Record
Office, 1996, ISBN 0 7123 0410 X
A short book, 133 pages, it gives a once-over-lightly
on British seals, who had them, and what we know about
how they were used. It has an extensive bibliography
for those who wish to dig more deeply into the subject
which will require serious use of Inter-Library Loan
and/or trips to British Libraries and Record Offices.
Harvey and McGuinness asert largge gaps in seal
research ripe for Masters and Doctoral Theses.
I just checked the website (www.oxbowbooks.com) and
the price is back up to $50.00.
And from pg 17, "Seals in medieval Britian were always
impressed in beeswax, to which in the later middle
ages resin was added, and occasionally they contain
fine hairs, presumably to strenghten the wax. ... The
bulla of King Cenwulf of Mercia is the only lead seal
known from medieval Britian, and wafer (a mixture of
flour and gum) and shellac (sealing-wax) were not used
in the middle ages. At first the wax was uncoloured;
of the eighteen English royal seal-impressions
surviving from before 1100 one is in brown wax and all
the rest in white, and uncolored wax was often used in
the twelfth century and sometimes even as late as the
fourteenth. This is a pity, as seals without color are
more friable and less likely to survive intact. The
colouring was normally green (verdigris), red
(vermilion) or brown which may sometimes result from
the deterioration of one of the other colours. Other
colours are found, but what appear at first sight to
be black seals are nearly always very dark gren or
brown. Wax of two colours - often green and white -
might be used to give a flecked or mottled effect, and
occasionally the impression in one colour of wax would
be surrounded and backed by another. Before the
thirteenth century the impression was ofter coated in
varnish, which on white or green seals can be seen as
reddish brown opatches on the surface of the wax."
Oh, and thanks for the references Chas, I had not
found them on my own.
--- Kiley Glass <caileighsoaps@...
> Hello list,
> I'm very glad I asked, because that is very
> interesting. I bet I have something about that in
> Henly's or something, but not as much detail. What
> sorts of pigments were used in our period? I've got
> the beeswax, and am going to be making some tables
> and things. What book would you recommend on the
Are there any sources you would recommend for reading
up on period
sealing techniques? I would also love to hear about
how to make a
beeswax pigment seal solution....
> Karl Christoffers <interestingclutter@...>
> Hello the list,
> --- Kiley Glass <caileighsoaps@...> wrote:
> > What is shellac? I've seen it, used it but what IS
> > it. What's it made of? How long has it been in
> > Where does it come from?
> > Caileigh
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