Antiquities > Seals and Tesserae

Papal Bulla


Hey all,

I'm quite excited about this, but no doubt some expert will quickly point out that it's a poor forgery and all my hopes and yearnings will be cruelly crushed!!

Anyway, I have a bit of a coin collection. It's not much by any means, but granduncle said he'd like to have a look at it and would bring in some of his coins for me to see. He's been collecting things of interest to him for well on 50 years now, and while he has never had a structured approach and has too diverse a collection of things to have any real expertise, he had accumulated quite a few bits and bobs. He brought in some items that he thought might interest me today, and whilst going through them I saw the item below. He thought it was a coin, but I immediately saw that it wasn't. I'mve studied medieval history and papal history from that period, so I saw pretty quickly that it was related to the papacy. The reverse has INNOCENTIUS PP III which I thought referred to Innocent III. I was getting pretty excited at this stage, and so I google a bit more information and found that the obverse bore the images of SS Peter and Paul, and that I held in my hand a medieval papal bulla. It was the last thing I ever expected to find in my uncle's collection. I looked about for more information, but apart from some general info, there was nothign really to go on.

As he was leaving, he offered it to me. I nearly took his hand off. I have no idea how rare these things are, or their value (I'm not looking to sell it), or even if it's authentic. It seems a tad too good to be true that something like this would turn up in my uncle's shed afterall! However, it seems quite genuine, has quite a heft to it, ad he says that he got it from someone who claimed to have received it from a good soure years ago.

I was just wondering then, if anyone here would know more about my little artefact, whether it looks like a forgery, or maybe some advice on what to do next.


No remains of the cord ?


--- Quote from: benito on April 12, 2012, 12:53:31 pm ---No remains of the cord ?

--- End quote ---


There are four I's, so it is actually a seal of Innocentius IV, AD 1243-1254. Papal seals are actually pretty common as a type, though particular popes can of course be hard to track. Yours looks to be authentic.

Thanks for the replies benito and gert. I don't know how I missed the extra digit. No doubt expecting that IV would denote four. Would anyone have any idea of what it's worth? Thanks.


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