Coins and Antiquities Consignment Shop
  Books Clearance Sale Now - Many at or Below Our Wholesale Cost!!! All Items Purchased From Forum Ancient Coins Are Guaranteed Authentic For Eternity!!! Please Call Us If You Have Questions 252-646-1958 Expert Authentication - Accurate Descriptions - Reasonable Prices - Coins From Under $10 To Museum Quality Rarities Books Clearance Sale Now - Many at or Below Our Wholesale Cost!!! All Items Purchased From Forum Ancient Coins Are Guaranteed Authentic For Eternity!!! Internet Challenged? We Are Happy To Take Your Order Over The Phone 252-646-1958 Explore Our Website And Find Joy In The History, Numismatics, Art, Mythology, And Geography Of Coins!!!

×Catalog Main Menu
Fine Coins Showcase

Antiquities Showcase
New & Reduced


Show Empty Categories
Shop Search
Shopping Cart
My FORVM
Contact Us
About Forum
Shopping at Forum
Our Guarantee
Payment Options
Shipping Options & Fees
Privacy & Security
Forum Staff
Selling Your Coins
Identifying Your Coin
FAQs
zoom.asp
   View Categories
Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Antiquities| ▸ |Antiquities by Type| ▸ |Seals||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Seals

Both the objects used to make impressions and the impressions themselves are referred to as seals. Seal impressions served as a signature of the owner of the seal. Seals used to make impressions include cylinder seals and stamp seals. Often these seals are holed for stringing and some were probably never used to make impressions, but were rather worn as amulets. The most common form of seal impression is the bulla. A bulla (plural, bullae), is a lump of clay or lead molded around a cord and stamped with a seal that identifies the sender. With a bulla in place a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, thereby ensuring the contents remain tamper-proof until they reach their destination.

Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D., Imperial Seal Box

|Titus|, |Titus,| |24| |June| |79| |-| |13| |September| |81| |A.D.,| |Imperial| |Seal| |Box|
When the Romans sent important small packages by courier, such as documents or valuables, they were were placed in strong leather or cloth bags, which were sealed with a stout cord, the knot covered in wax and impressed with the sender's signet. To protect the wax seal, it and the knot were encased in a small, ornamental metal box with an hinged lid and two holes in the back for the cord. In addition, the lid could be kept closed by further cords sewn to the package and tied around it. Hinged boxes used for this purpose have been found in Britain, where they tend to date to the 2nd and 3rd centuries and are mostly of enameled bronze. However, they certainly started earlier. Hattatt illustrated an example found in Ostia bearing the portraits of Hadrian and Sabina (p. 464, 151) and seal boxes with portraits of Vespasian and Domitian have been found in London and must have been used by high officials (P. Salway, A History of Roman Britain [Oxford 2001], p. 381). This was certainly the case with this piece, especially given its splendid portrait of Titus, which was surely made by workers in the imperial mint in Rome and then sent out for official use in the provinces. See Roman| Seal| Boxes| by Colin| Andrews| - https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/pages/roman-seal-boxes.html for more information, as well as other examples of the type.
AS75699. cf. Hattatt ABOA, pp. 461 ff. (for general type); Nomos I 144 (cover only, head right), nice green patina, hing broken, Piriform-shaped bronze box with hinged cover, decorated with laureate head of Titus left, done in repouss work; base perforated with three holes; 3.51g, 24mm x 17mm, 9mm (depth); ex Triton XIII (5-6 Jan 2010), lot 314; very rare; SOLD


Roman, Intaglio Engraved Gem Stone, 1st - 3rd century A.D.

|Jewelry|, |Roman,| |Intaglio| |Engraved| |Gem| |Stone,| |1st| |-| |3rd| |century| |A.D.|
AS90832. Antike Gemmen Deutschen -, Marlborough -; Intaglio engraved translucent red carnelian, weight 0.406 g, maximum diameter 11.2 mm, Dioscuri standing facing, heads confronted, each holds a bow(?) in inner hand and spear in outer hand, star above each head, crescent moon with horns up above center, from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection, found at Caesarea, Israel; SOLD


Bulgaria, First Empire, Peter I, 927 - 969 A.D., Lead Bulla Seal

|Bulgaria|, |Bulgaria,| |First| |Empire,| |Peter| |I,| |927| |-| |969| |A.D.,| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
This seal was reportedly found together with a hoard of Romanus I, Constantine II and Romanus II solidi, some of which are now available for sale in our Byzantine Gold section. The seal may have once tied a leather bag containing the coins; perhaps a Bulgarian imperial payment.

Peter was the son of Simeon the Great 893 - 927, architect of the Golden Age for the Bulgarian Empire. In 927 the Bulgarians and the Byzantines signed apeace treaty which recognized Peter's Imperial title, the borders and the Bulgarian Patriarchate. In addition, Peter married Maria Lecapene, renamed Eirene (Peace) for the event.

An inferior example (with a finder's cut defacing Peter) was estimated $1000 and sold for $650 plus fees in Triton XI, 2008.
SH33751. Lead bulla (tag seal), gVF, weight 18.524 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, obverse + IhSuS XPI[...]+, facing bust of Christ, holding book of Gospels in left hand, cross behind head; reverse blundered legend naming Peter, facing busts of Peter, wearing chlamys, and his wife, Eirine (Maria) Lecapene, wearing loros, both crowned, holding patriarchal cross between them; well formed seal, nice round thick flan, attractive buff-grey patina; SOLD


Roman Syria-Palestina, Jewish, Lead Bulla Seal, 7 Branched Menorah, c. 5th - 6th Century A.D.

|Seals|, |Roman| |Syria-Palestina,| |Jewish,| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal,| |7| |Branched| |Menorah,| |c.| |5th| |-| |6th| |Century| |A.D.||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
A bulla (plural, bullae) is a lump of clay or lead molded around a cord and stamped with a seal that identifies the sender. With a bulla in place, a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, revealing the tampering. Bullae depicting a menorah are known but very rare and not well documented. Dattari-Savio p. 327, 3 is a 1901 rubbing of a very similar menorah sealing. Michael Still lists two menorah sealings in his thesis on Roman seals, 1696 with a Latin inscription reverse, 1765 with a Hebrew inscription reverse. The recently published catalogue of the Vossen collection by Gert Boersema and Bill Dalzell, has two Menorah seals, numbers 181 and 182, both with blank reverses. There are also a few examples known from auctions. A FORVM member posted a bulla of this exact type from his collection on the Classical Numismatic Discussion on the Forum Ancient Coins website. We received three examples of this type on consignment, all with the same fire damage, suggesting they were found together.
JD98654. Lead bulla (tag seal), VF, white lead patina, light earthen deposits, raised bumps from exposure to an ancient fire that heated and expanded air bubbles within the lead, weight 4.030 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, c. 5th - 6th century A.D.; obverse seven branched menorah with tripod base; reverse lulav, uncertain Syriac inscription; very rare; SOLD


Proto-Elamite (South-Western Iran), Cylinder Seal, 3000 - 2500 B.C.

|Seals|, |Proto-Elamite| |(South-Western| |Iran),| |Cylinder| |Seal,| |3000| |-| |2500| |B.C.|
The Elamites called their country Haltamti, but it is Elam in the Hebrew Bible, where they are called the offspring of Elam, eldest son of Shem (Genesis 10:22, Ezra 4:9). To the east of Mesopotamia, Elam was part of the early urbanization during the Chalcolithic period (Copper Age). Written records from around 3000 B.C. parallel Mesopotamian history. In the Old Elamite period (Middle Bronze Age), Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Its culture played a crucial role in the short lived Gutian Empire of the 22nd century B.C. During the Persian Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded Elam, the Elamite language remained among those in official use.
AS48860. Cylinder seal; cf. Amiet 1028 - 1029, Choice, carved black steatite, drill and linear design with two animals and tree, 23 mm long, ex Alex G. Malloy Sale, 5/99, #1329; SOLD


South Arabian, Sabaean Hematite Seal, c. 1000 B.C.

|Seals|, |South| |Arabian,| |Sabaean| |Hematite| |Seal,| |c.| |1000| |B.C.|
AA31273. Sabaean hematite seal, 1.2 cm (1/2") long, horse rampant before seated God on X stool, drill and line cut design, the design and shape are most unusual; rare; SOLD


Southern Mesopotamia, Cylinder Seal, Jemdet Nasr Period, c. 3200 - 2900 B.C.

|Seals|, |Southern| |Mesopotamia,| |Cylinder| |Seal,| |Jemdet| |Nasr| |Period,| |c.| |3200| |-| |2900| |B.C.|
Very early cylinder seal from the dawn of writing. The earliest cylinder seals, such as this one, are from the Jemdet Nasr Period in Mesopotamia.
AS48859. Cylinder seal; Malloy Artifacts 394 (this seal), cf. Buchanan 203, Superb, fine quality seal, clear calcite cylinder seal, linear opposing triangles indicating mountains and valleys; 17 mm long; ex Alex G. Malloy sale 5/99, #1326; SOLD


Elam, Cylinder Seal, Middle Ellamite Period, c. 1600 - 1200 B.C.

|Western| |Asiatic| |Antiquities|, |Elam,| |Cylinder| |Seal,| |Middle| |Ellamite| |Period,| |c.| |1600| |-| |1200| |B.C.|
AS35627. Cylinder seal; black serpentine; animals and birds with appearance of movement in two levels; 20 mm X 9.5 mm, Superb, SOLD


Egyptian, Carved Steatite Plaque Amulet, Late Period, c. 712 - 332 B.C.

|Egyptian| |Antiquities|, |Egyptian,| |Carved| |Steatite| |Plaque| |Amulet,| |Late| |Period,| |c.| |712| |-| |332| |B.C.|
AS31141. Egyptian steatite plaque amulet, Choice, 2.2 cm (7/8") by 1.7 cm (5/8"), holed for suspension; SOLD


Egyptian, Carved Steatite Seal Amulet, Hyksos Period, 1786 - 1567 B.C.

|Egyptian| |Antiquities|, |Egyptian,| |Carved| |Steatite| |Seal| |Amulet,| |Hyksos| |Period,| |1786| |-| |1567| |B.C.|
An attractive piece in the archetypal style of the Hyksos period.

In Egypt, few seals were actually used to make impressions and seal documents. Although they are almost always holed for stringing, an absence of wear on them shows that they were not usually carried during life, but were engraved to place as amulets with the dead.
AS31142. Hyksos amulet, Choice, 3 cm (1 1/8") by 2 cm (3/4"), holed for stringing; a few small edge chips; SOLD


Neo-Assyrian Faience Cylinder Seal, 900 - 700 B.C.

|Western| |Asiatic| |Antiquities|, |Neo-Assyrian| |Faience| |Cylinder| |Seal,| |900| |-| |700| |B.C.|
AS31153. 2.6 cm (1") high, Choice, green faience, hero shooting arrow at serpent; SOLD


Byzantine Lead Bulla Seal, Soterichos, Patrikios and Strategos of Thrace, 10th Century A.D.

|Seals|, |Byzantine| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal,| |Soterichos,| |Patrikios| |and| |Strategos| |of| |Thrace,| |10th| |Century| |A.D.||seal|
SH60400. Lead seal, cf. Jordanov-Zhekova Shuman 297, Zacos BLS -, Zacos -, Metcalf Seals -, DOCBS -, VF, undersized leaving some elements off flan, weight 15.156 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 90o, obverse ΘEOTOKE BOHΘEI in cruciform monogram, TW - CW/ ∆OV- ΛW in the angles (God-bearer [the Virgin], help your servant); reverse [CWTH]/PIXW ΠAT[PI]/K∋ KAI CTPA/THΓW... / ΘPAKH (or similar); SOLD


Babylonian Cuneiform Inscribed Clay Bulla, Old Babylonian Period, c. 2000 - 1600 B.C.

|Ancient| |Writing|, |Babylonian| |Cuneiform| |Inscribed| |Clay| |Bulla,| |Old| |Babylonian| |Period,| |c.| |2000| |-| |1600| |B.C.|
Bullae, such as this one, were attached by a cord to a basket of tablets, a container, an object or an animal. This bulla appears to name three individuals and lists five cattle; there is also a seal impression. It may have sealed a container which held tablets that also identified the owners, senders (taxpayers?) or intended recipients of the cattle.
AA30981. length 3.0 cm (1 1/8"), black clay bulla; SOLD


Byzantine Lead Bulla Seal, Sergios Mesopotamites, Late 11th - Early 12th Century

|Byzantine| |Seals|, |Byzantine| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal,| |Sergios| |Mesopotamites,| |Late| |11th| |-| |Early| |12th| |Century||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
The first part of the inscription reads "Graphas sphragizo kai logous" - "I seal the writings and words of..." The last lines read the well-known family name "Mesopotamites," with eta for iota. The personal name is most likely Sergios, with one C shared by both logous and Sergios.

The Mesopotamitai were a prominent Byzantine family in the late 12th and early 13th century. They originated either from Mesopotamos (in modern Albania) or some place called Mesopotamia. Sergios was likely related to Constantine Mesopotamite, the de facto chief minister under emperors Isaac II Angelos and Alexius III Angelos (1193 - summer 1197) and the archbishop of Thessalonica (c. 1197 - 1227, but in exile 1204 - 1224, when the city was occupied by Latin Crusaders).
AS63897. Lead bulla (tag seal), unpublished in references examined by Forum; DOCBS -, Zacos BLS -, Zacos -, Jordanov -, gVF, high relief, attractive patina, weight 4.861 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, obverse facing bust of the Virgin Orans, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) across field; reverse ΓPA(phas) / CΦPAΓI(zo) / S ΛOΓOU(c) CE[P]/ΓIOTOU M[E]/COΠOTA/MHTOU (S abbreviates KAI and the OU's are ligate); SOLD


India, Ornate Bronze Seal, c. 16th - 17th Century A.D.

|Central| |Asian| |Antiquities|, |India,| |Ornate| |Bronze| |Seal,| |c.| |16th| |-| |17th| |Century| |A.D.|
AE61803. India, seal; 1.7 x 2 inches; finely cast filligree openwork; from a New Jersey collection, excellent condition, rare; SOLD


Babylon, Cylinder Seal, Old Babylonian Period, c. 1730 - 1600 B.C.

|Seals|, |Babylon,| |Cylinder| |Seal,| |Old| |Babylonian| |Period,| |c.| |1730| |-| |1600| |B.C.|
AS35630. Cylinder seal; creamy white mable; figure standing before 8 pointed star, long robed figure holding tall vessel above horned gazelle; 20 mm X 9 mm, Superb, SOLD


Marcian, 24 August 450 - 31 January 457 A.D.

|Marcian|, |Marcian,| |24| |August| |450| |-| |31| |January| |457| |A.D.||tessera|
After Eastern Emperor Theodosius II died unexpectedly in a riding accident on 28 July 450 the empire was met with its first succession crisis in 60 years, as Theodosius did not have any sons, nor had he designated any successor. Some later sources state that Theodosius willed the Eastern Empire to Marcian on his deathbed, but this was likely propaganda created by Marcian's supporters after his election. There was a one-month delay between Theodosius' death and Marcian's election, likely due to negotiations with generals Aspar and Flavius Zeno, and with Pulcheria, the sister of Theodosius II. Pulcheria agreed to marry Marcian (although she would keep her vow of virginity, which she had taken at age 14), which legitimize Marcian's rule. Flavius Zeno was given the prestigious rank of patrician, perhaps a reward for supporting Marcian, rather than attempting to be made emperor himself. Pulcheria herself crowned him emperor, a unique event symbolizing that the imperial power was shared, likely to further boost Marcian's legitimacy. Marcian was elected without the consultation of the Western Roman Emperor, Valentinian III, which has been viewed as a marker of further separation between the Eastern and Western Roman Empires. Valentinian III would not recognize Marcian as Eastern Roman Emperor until March 452. Marcian had his daughter Marcia Euphemia, who came from a previous marriage, marry Anthemius, future Western Roman Emperor, in 453.
BZ87504. Lead tessera, VF, triple struck, some adhesions on gray patina, huge lead tessera (or seal), weight 40.767 g, maximum diameter 37.9 mm, die axis 0o, 475 - 476 A.D.; obverse helmeted, diademed, and cuirassed bust facing, holding spear and shield; reverse monogram of Marcian (triple struck); very rare; SOLD


Jewish, Lead Menorah Bulla Seal, 7 Branched Menorah on Each Side, c. 6th - 10th Century A.D.

|Holy| |Land| |Antiquities|, |Jewish,| |Lead| |Menorah| |Bulla| |Seal,| |7| |Branched| |Menorah| |on| |Each| |Side,| |c.| |6th| |-| |10th| |Century| |A.D.|
A bulla (plural, bullae), is a lump of clay or lead molded around a cord and stamped with a seal that identifies the sender. With a bulla in place a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, thereby ensuring the contents remain tamper-proof until they reach their destination.
JD34522. Menorah bulla seal, weight 11.1 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, 8.9 mm thick; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Lead Bulla Seal, John Melek, 12th - 13th Century A.D.

|Byzantine| |Seals|, |Byzantine| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal,| |John| |Melek,| |12th| |-| |13th| |Century| |A.D.||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
A number of Byzantine dignitaries in 13th and 14th centuries shared the patronym Melek but they probably were not all from the same family. The name is foreign and perhaps derived from the Seljuk name malik, meaning prince. Presumably John Melek was a Seljuk prince who converted, was baptized adopting the name John, and served the Empire.

The office and title of the owner is not included in the inscription, which during the period, was a common practice of the representatives of noble ruling families.

The owner of the seal might be a certain John Melek associated with the stay of the army headed by Emperor Manuel I Komnenos in Beroe in 1155/1156.

A 13th century possiblity, is that the owner was one of the sons of the sultan Izedin, who after their father escaped captivity, were baptized and served in army of the Empire with the patronym Melek.

SH58238. Lead bulla (tag seal), Jordanov 456 (Historical Museum, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, no. 10 C3-11, found in the town); DOCBS -, Choice, near complete imprint, weight 17.593 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, obverse MP − ΘY, half-length figure of Virgin Orans standing facing, nimbate, hands raised, medallion of the infant Christ on breast; reverse Inscription: IWANHN / CKEΠOIC ME / MEΛHK / KOPH; large, high-relief seal; SOLD


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D., Imperial Lead Bulla Seal

|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.,| |Imperial| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
AS38022. Lead bulla (tag seal), Boersema-Dalzell 134, VF, weight 16.211 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, obverse laureate and draped bust of Constantine the Great right; reverse chestnut shaped; SOLD


Neo-Babylonian, Stamp Seal, 625 - 539 B.C.

|Seals|, |Neo-Babylonian,| |Stamp| |Seal,| |625| |-| |539| |B.C.|
AS48864. Stamp seal, cream marble, pyramid shaped, drill style, Ishtar standing with wings or rays emitting from center, 26 mm high, 19 x 13 mm seal, Choice, Legrain - "rare type"; ex Alex G. Malloy Sale 5/28/1999, 1325; SOLD


Assyrian Stone Seal, c. 1900 - 1800 B.C.

|Seals|, |Assyrian| |Stone| |Seal,| |c.| |1900| |-| |1800| |B.C.|
AS31264. 3.3 cm (1 1/4") diameter, Choice, holed for stringing, reportedly found in Anatolia; SOLD


Assyrian Stone Seal, c. 1900 - 1800 B.C.

|Seals|, |Assyrian| |Stone| |Seal,| |c.| |1900| |-| |1800| |B.C.|
AS31265. 3.3 cm (1 1/4") diameter, Choice, holed for stringing, reportedly found in Anatolia; SOLD


Ancient Near Eastern Cylinder Seals, From the Marcopoli Collection

|Antiquities| |Books|, |Ancient| |Near| |Eastern| |Cylinder| |Seals,| |From| |the| |Marcopoli| |Collection|
Ex Libris Joel L. Malter.
BK21981. Ancient Near Eastern Cylinder Seals, From the Marcopoli Collection by Beatrice Teissier, 407 pages, 643 seals, illustrated, hardcover, very good condition, international shipping at actual cost of shipping, priced below FORVM's cost!; SOLD


Neo-Assyrian, Red Brown Stamp Seal, c. 883 - 612 B.C.

|Seals|, |Neo-Assyrian,| |Red| |Brown| |Stamp| |Seal,| || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || |c.| |883| |-| |612| |B.C.|
AS34497. 2 cm (3/4") long; linear style, male standing with arms outstretched, pierced length-wise for suspension, Choice, rare; SOLD


Syria, Black Steatite Seal, Proto-Literate Period, 3500 - 2900 B.C.

|Seals|, |Syria,| |Black| |Steatite| |Seal,| |Proto-Literate| |Period,| |3500| |-| |2900| |B.C.|
AS48858. cf. Buchanan 86 and 88, carved black steatite, suspension loop on a thick oval base, linear style, probably an ibex, 16mm diameter, Choice, chip at base, from an American private collection, ex Alex G. Malloy Sale 5/99, #1319; SOLD


Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D.

|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
This type of lead conical bulla seal is commonly attributed to Theodosius I with his sons, Arcadius and Honorius. While the attribution is not certain, there is reason behind it. The form is correct for the period and the type is very common for a seal. Forum has handled a few examples and there are at least four on Coin Archives. The large number of specimens supports attribution to the emperor, in whose name there was a lot of correspondence. Theodosius and his two sons are the best imperial fit for these three facing busts.
AS89555. Lead bulla (tag seal), conical type, commonly attributed to Theodosius I and his sons Arcadius and Honorius, VF, gray and buff surfaces, weight 9.316 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, obverse three bare-headed and draped busts facing, center bust larger, two flanking busts smaller; reverse domed back, pierced for the cord; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 504; SOLD


South Arabian (Biblical Sheba?) Sabaean Steatite Amulet Seal, c. 1000 B.C.

|Holy| |Land| |Antiquities|, |South| |Arabian| |(Biblical| |Sheba?)| |Sabaean| |Steatite| |Amulet| |Seal,| |c.| |1000| |B.C.|
Sheba is mentioned several times in the Bible. In the Table of Nations (Genesis 10:7), Sheba is listed as a descendant of Noah's son Ham (as sons of Raamah son of Cush). In Genesis 25:3, Sheba is listed as names of sons of Jokshan, son of Abraham. Another Sheba is listed in the Table of Nations (Genesis 10:28) as a son of Joktan, another descendant of Noah's son Shem.
AS31269. Sabaean steatite amulet seal, Choice, 1.7 cm (5/8") length, inscribed BR' in the Sabaean alphabet; SOLD


South Arabian (Biblical Sheba?) Sabaean Steatite Amulet Seal, c. 1000 - 900 B.C.

|Holy| |Land| |Antiquities|, |South| |Arabian| |(Biblical| |Sheba?)| |Sabaean| |Steatite| |Amulet| |Seal,| |c.| || |1000| |-| |900| |B.C.|
This seal and other Sabaean we have listed are from present-day Yemen. Sheba was a southern kingdom mentioned in the Jewish scriptures and in the Qur'an. The actual location of the historical kingdom is disputed between southern Arabia and the Horn of Africa; the kingdom may have been situated in either present-day Ethiopia or present-day Yemen, or both.
AS31272. Sabaean steatite amulet seal, Choice, 1.3 cm (1/2") length, intaglio Nubian Ibex, Arabian Oryx, or Saudi Gazelle?; SOLD


South Arabian (Biblical Sheba?) Sabaean Steatite Amulet Seal, c. 1000 - 900 B.C.

|Seals|, |South| |Arabian| |(Biblical| |Sheba?)| |Sabaean| |Steatite| |Amulet| |Seal,| |c.| || |1000| |-| |900| |B.C.|
This seal and other Sabaean we have listed are from present-day Yemen. Sheba was a southern kingdom mentioned in the Jewish scriptures and in the Qur'an. The actual location of the historical kingdom is disputed between southern Arabia and the Horn of Africa; the kingdom may have been situated in either present-day Ethiopia or present-day Yemen, or both.
AS31275. Sabaean amulet seal, near Choice, 1.3 cm (1/2") length, intaglio cat?, a few tiny chips; SOLD


South Arabian (Biblical Sheba?), Sabaean Black Steatite Amulet, c. 1000 - 900 B.C.

|Seals|, |South| |Arabian| |(Biblical| |Sheba?),| |Sabaean| |Black| |Steatite| |Amulet,| |c.| |1000| |-| |900| |B.C.|
Sheba is mentioned several times in the Bible. In the Table of Nations (Genesis 10:7), Sheba is listed as a descendant of Noah's son Ham (as sons of Raamah son of Cush). In Genesis 25:3, Sheba is listed as names of sons of Jokshan, son of Abraham. Another Sheba is listed in the Table of Nations (Genesis 10:28) as a son of Joktan, another descendant of Noah's son Shem.
AS31816. South Arabian steatite amulet, Choice, 0.9 cm (3/8") diameter, inscribed KSD in the Sabaean alphabet, cone shaped back; SOLD


Egyptian, Faience Seal, 6th - 9th Dynasty, c. 2345 - 2133 B.C.

|Egyptian| |Antiquities|, |Egyptian,| |Faience| |Seal,| |6th| |-| |9th| |Dynasty,| |c.| |2345| |-| |2133| |B.C.|
Seals from Egypt with a loop behind belong to the 6th to 9th dynasties. In Egypt, few seals were actually used to make impressions and seal documents. Although they are almost always holed for stringing, an absence of wear on them shows that they were not usually carried during life, but were engraved to place as amulets with the dead.
AS31303. Yellow composite faience seal, 2.2 cm (7/8") long, walking figure, loop behind suspension, SOLD


South Arabian (Biblical Sheba?), Sabaean Black Steatite Amulet Seal, c. 1000 - 900 B.C.

|Seals|, |South| |Arabian| |(Biblical| |Sheba?),| |Sabaean| |Black| |Steatite| |Amulet| |Seal,| |c.| |1000| |-| |900| |B.C.|
Sheba is mentioned several times in the Bible. In the Table of Nations (Genesis 10:7), Sheba is listed as a descendant of Noah's son Ham (as sons of Raamah son of Cush). In Genesis 25:3, Sheba is listed as names of sons of Jokshan, son of Abraham. Another Sheba is listed in the Table of Nations (Genesis 10:28) as a son of Joktan, another descendant of Noah's son Shem.
AS31271. Sabaean amulet seal, Choice, 1.4 cm (1/2") length, intaglio Nubian Ibex, Arabian Oryx or Saudi Gazelle with crescent above, a nice artifact!; SOLD


Egyptian Faience Scarab, New Kingdom to Late Period, c. 1570 - 332 B.C.

|Egyptian| |Antiquities|, |Egyptian| |Faience| |Scarab,| |New| |Kingdom| |to| |Late| |Period,| |c.| |1570| |-| |332| |B.C.|
AS31267. 1.4 cm (5/8") length, Average, aquamarine faience; back has gone white; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Lead Bulla Seal, c. 5th - 12th Century

|Byzantine| |Seals|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal,| |c.| |5th| |-| |12th| |Century||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
During the late Roman and Byzantine periods, lead bullae (singular, Bulla) were widely used to seal and identify the sender of correspondence and containers in shipment. An iron, pliers-shaped instrument, a boulloterion, was used to impress the designs on a lead bulla seal. After the cord was wrapped around the package or document and the ends inserted in a channel in the blank seal, the seal was placed between the disk shaped engraved dies on the jaws of a boulloterion. The boulloterion had a projection above the jaws, which was struck with a hammer to impress the design on the seal and close the channel around the two ends of the cord. With a bulla in place a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, ensuring the contents remain tamper-proof until they reach their destination.
BZ93559. Lead bulla (tag seal), gVF, earthen deposits, weight 6.172 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 0o, c. 5th - 12th century; obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), nimbate bust of Christ facing; reverse six line Greek inscription; from the Errett Bishop Collection; SOLD


Roman, Lead Conical Bulla Seal, Early 4th Century A.D.

|Seals|, |Roman,| |Lead| |Conical| |Bulla| |Seal,| |Early| |4th| |Century| |A.D.||seal|
The ancients did not all agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. The general impression of the ancients seems to have been that by Serapis, was to be understood the beginning and foundation of things. Julian II consulted the oracle of Apollo for the purpose of learning whether Pluto and Serapis were different gods; and he received for an answer that Jupiter-Serapis and Pluto were one and the same divinity.
AS83610. Lead seal, aEF, weight 8.022 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, early 4th century A.D.; obverse diademed, draped, bearded, bust of Serapis right, kalathos(?) on head; reverse conical back, pierced for cord; SOLD


Sasanian, White Chalcedony Seal 4th Century A.D.

|Stone| |Antiquities|, |Sasanian,| |White| |Chalcedony| |Seal| |4th| |Century| |A.D.|
AS31302. Sasanian seal; 1.5 mm (5/8") length, Collectible condition, SOLD


Roman, 2nd - early 3rd Century A.D., Bronze Wax-Seal Box

|Seals|, |Roman,| |2nd| |-| |early| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.,| |Bronze| |Wax-Seal| |Box|
When the Romans sent important small packages by courier, such as documents or valuables, they were were placed in strong leather or cloth bags, which were sealed with a stout cord. The cord was threaded into and tied within a small metal box with a hinged lid. The box was filled with wax covering the knot and the wax was impressed with the sender's signet. In addition, the lid could be kept closed by further cords sewn to the package and tied around it.

See The Colchester Archaeological Trust online for a seal box nearly identical to ours found in a Roman pit at Lexden, a suburb of Colchester, Essex, England. A dupondius of Trajan minted in Rome, 114 - 117 A.D. was also found at the Lexden site. Another similar Roman seal box was found at the Balkerne Lane site in Colchester.
MA95786. See Hattatt ABOA, pp. 461 ff., Choice, complete and intact, sealed shut, rectangular bronze box with hinged cover, no indication of enamel, base perforated with three holes, hole in each side; 5.379g, 20.0mm x 15.7mm, 4.2mm (depth); SOLD


Roman, Lead Conical Bulla Seal, Aristanetos, Early 4th Century A.D.

|Seals|, |Roman,| |Lead| |Conical| |Bulla| |Seal,| |Aristanetos,| |Early| |4th| |Century| |A.D.||seal|
The portrait indicates an early 4th century date. It is the personal seal of Aristanetos, as the Greek genitive legend indicates. Many personal seals from the late Roman and Byzantine eras feature the owner's portrait.
AS85926. Lead seal, cf. Mnzzentrum auction 157 (2011), lot 552, aVF, weight 9.060 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, early 4th century A.D.; obverse APICT-ANETOV, draped bust of a slightly balding middle-aged man with sideburns; reverse conical back, pierced for cord; SOLD


North Syria, Red Serpentine Seal, c. 3500 - 3000 B.C.

|Seals|, |North| |Syria,| |Red| |Serpentine| |Seal,| |c.| |3500| |-| |3000| |B.C.|
AS35616. Red serpentine seal; similar style to Buchanan YBC 44-60; large X, arrow head points in angles; 18 X 10 mm; part of seal missing, SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Kemales Tzotzikes, Protospatharios, Hypatos and Strategos of Artach, c. 1000 - 1150

|Byzantine| |Seals|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Kemales| |Tzotzikes,| |Protospatharios,| |Hypatos| |and| |Strategos| |of| |Artach,| |c.| |1000| |-| |1150||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
The name Kermales was common among the Turks. The family name Tzotzikios, however, clearly indicates this general was Georgian. His name is also found among the founders of monastery of Iviron. Georgians played a significant role in the service of the empire and Artach (modern Irtah, 40 KM east of Antioch) was an important fortress on the eastern frontier captured by the Byzantines in 966, facing the emirate of Aleppo.
BZ49868. Lead bulla (tag seal), cf. Zacos III 262 (larger, 22.88g), broken in two, weight 10.092 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, obverse [O AΓIOΣ ΘEO∆ΩPOΣ], St Theodoros standing facing in military dress, spear in right, left rests on grounded shield; reverse +KEM/AΛHC ACΠ/ΘAP VΠATO/Σ CTPATIΓ / TOu APTAX/O TZOTZI/KIC (in 7 lines); SOLD


Roman Egyptian, Clay Bulla Seal, Harpocrates Bust Right, c. 1st - 2nd Century A.D.

|Seals|, |Roman| |Egyptian,| |Clay| |Bulla| |Seal,| |Harpocrates| |Bust| |Right,| |c.| |1st| |-| |2nd| |Century| |A.D.||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
A bulla (plural, bullae) is a lump of clay or lead molded around a cord and stamped with a seal that identifies the sender. With a bulla in place a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, thereby ensuring the contents remain tamper-proof until they reach their destination.
AA54469. Clay bulla (tag seal), weight 0.635 g, maximum diameter 12.0 mm, obverse draped bust of Harpocrates touching lips with index finger right in an oval incuse; reverse imprint of a papyrus document; SOLD


Eastern India, Buddhist Terracotta Votive Sealing, c. 8th Century

|Terracotta| |Antiquities|, |Eastern| |India,| |Buddhist| |Terracotta| |Votive| |Sealing,| |c.| |8th| |Century|
At holy sites and temples Buddhist pilgrims would purchase small votive offerings, to present to the shrine to be interred inside a stupa, or to take home as a memento. Votive offerings varied from place to place and over time. They were often made of terracotta and included small plaques, stupas, and sealings. The various sealings texts include meaningless pseudo-writing, repeated mantras, passages from the Ramayana, the Buddhist creed, prayers, etc. Because few early Buddhist manuscripts have survived in India, the writings found on these humble sealings provide a rare glimpse of the various scripts used in India in ancient and early medieval times. -- https://papyri.tripod.com/buddhist/introsealings.html
AB54489. cf. Zwalf, p. 33 and nos. 144 - 146, Choice, maximum diameter 29 mm, obverse Sanskrit text: the Buddhist Creed; reverse undecorated; mica sparkling in the clay, ex Alex G. Malloy; SOLD


Eastern India, Buddhist Terracotta Votive Sealing, c. 8th Century

|Central| |Asian| |Antiquities|, |Eastern| |India,| |Buddhist| |Terracotta| |Votive| |Sealing,| |c.| |8th| |Century|
At holy sites and temples Buddhist pilgrims would purchase small votive offerings, to present to the shrine to be interred inside a stupa, or to take home as a memento. Votive offerings varied from place to place and over time. They were often made of terracotta and included small plaques, stupas, and sealings. The various sealings texts include meaningless pseudo-writing, repeated mantras, passages from the Ramayana, the Buddhist creed, prayers, etc. Because few early Buddhist manuscripts have survived in India, the writings found on these humble sealings provide a rare glimpse of the various scripts used in India in ancient and early medieval times. -- https://papyri.tripod.com/buddhist/introsealings.html
AB54491. cf. Zwalf, p. 33 and nos. 144 - 146, Choice, maximum diameter 29 mm, obverse Sanskrit text: the Buddhist Creed; reverse undecorated; mica sparkling in the clay, ex Alex G. Malloy; SOLD


Eastern India, Buddhist Terracotta Votive Sealing, c. 8th Century

|Central| |Asian| |Antiquities|, |Eastern| |India,| |Buddhist| |Terracotta| |Votive| |Sealing,| |c.| |8th| |Century|
At holy sites and temples Buddhist pilgrims would purchase small votive offerings, to present to the shrine to be interred inside a stupa, or to take home as a memento. Votive offerings varied from place to place and over time. They were often made of terracotta and included small plaques, stupas, and sealings. The various sealings texts include meaningless pseudo-writing, repeated mantras, passages from the Ramayana, the Buddhist creed, prayers, etc. Because few early Buddhist manuscripts have survived in India, the writings found on these humble sealings provide a rare glimpse of the various scripts used in India in ancient and early medieval times. -- https://papyri.tripod.com/buddhist/introsealings.html
AB54496. cf. Zwalf, p. 33 and nos. 144 - 146, Choice, maximum diameter 29 mm, obverse Sanskrit text: the Buddhist Creed; reverse undecorated; mica sparkling in the clay, ex Alex G. Malloy; SOLD


Roman Empire, Lead Bulla Sealing, c. 2nd - 4th Century

|Seals|, |Roman| |Empire,| |Lead| |Bulla| |Sealing,| |c.| |2nd| |-| |4th| |Century||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
The fabric impression on the reverse indicates this seal was used on a sack. Some sealings of this type have been found with an intact hemp cord though them. Victory was very common on intaglio gem rings and many lead sealings with victory were likely impressed using a ring. Most sealings with Victory do not include inscriptions; most that do include inscriptions are imperial.
AS71304. Lead bulla (tag seal), Still category 5; cf. Still 1326, Dissard 519; vertical cord hole, VF, weight 3.316 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, obverse Victory advancing left, raising wreath in right, palm frond over shoulder in left, palm frond before her on left, within round incuse; reverse dome shape impressed with pattern of woven fabric; SOLD


Roman Lead Bulla Seal, c. 3rd Century A.D.

|Seals|, |Roman| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal,| |c.| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.||seal|
AS53318. Lead seal, gF, obverse confronted busts, possibly Philip I and Philip II; interesting!; SOLD


Roman Egyptian, Clay Bulla Seal, Standing Female Figure, c. 1st - 2nd Century A.D.

|Seals|, |Roman| |Egyptian,| |Clay| |Bulla| |Seal,| |Standing| |Female| |Figure,| |c.| |1st| |-| |2nd| |Century| |A.D.||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
A bulla (plural, bullae) is a lump of clay or lead molded around a cord and stamped with a seal that identifies the sender. With a bulla in place a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, thereby ensuring the contents remain tamper-proof until they reach their destination.
AA54471. Clay bulla (tag seal), weight 0.800 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, obverse standing female figure; reverse imprint of a papyrus document; SOLD


Roman Clay Bulla Seal, Apollo(?) Leaning on Column, c. 1st - 2nd Century A.D.

|Seals|, |Roman| |Clay| |Bulla| |Seal,| |Apollo(?)| |Leaning| |on| |Column,| |c.| |1st| |-| |2nd| |Century| |A.D.||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
A bulla (plural, bullae) is a lump of clay or lead molded around a cord and stamped with a seal that identifies the sender. With a bulla in place a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, thereby ensuring the contents remain tamper-proof until they reach their destination.

AA54468. Clay bulla (tag seal), Roman clay bulla seal, weight 0.851 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, c. 1st - 2nd century A.D.; obverse Apollo(?) standing left, leaning on column with left elbow; reverse imprint of a papyrus document; SOLD


Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D.

|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
This type of lead conical bulla seal is commonly attributed to Theodosius I with his sons, Arcadius and Honorius. While the attribution is not certain, there is reason behind it. The form is correct for the period and the type is very common for a seal. Forum has handled a few examples and there are at least four on Coin Archives. The large number of specimens supports attribution to the emperor, in whose name there was a lot of correspondence. Theodosius and his two sons are the best imperial fit for these three facing busts.
AS65213. Lead bulla (tag seal), conical type, commonly attributed to Theodosius I and his sons Arcadius and Honorius, VF, weight 9.335 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, obverse three bare-headed and draped busts facing, center bust larger, two flanking busts smaller; reverse domed back, pierced for the cord; SOLD




  




You are viewing a SOLD items page.
Click here to return to the page with AVAILABLE items.
The sale |price| for a sold item is the private information of the buyer and will not be provided.



REFERENCES

Andrews, C. Roman Seal-Boxes in Britain, BAR British Series 567. (Oxford, 2012).
Boersema, G. & B. Dalzell. Roman Lead Tesserae and Seals from the Tom Vossen Collection. (Hasselt, Netherlands, 2021).
Buchanan, B. Ancient Near Eastern Seals in the Yale Babylonian Collection. (New Haven, 1981).
Dissard, P. La Collection Recamier. Catalogue des Plombs antiques (sceaux, tesseres, monnaies et objets divers). (Paris-London, 1905).
Hattatt, R. Ancient Brooches and Other Artifacts. (Oxford, 1989).
Holmes, S. "Seal boxes from Roman London" in The London Archaeologist 7.15 (1995), pp. 391 - 395.
Jordanov, I. Corpus of Byzantine Seals from Bulgaria. (Sofia, 2003).
Jordanov, I & Z. Zhekova. Catalogue of Medieval Seals at the Regional Historical Museum of Shumen. (Sofia, 2007).
Leukel, H.-J. Rmische Bleiplomben aus Trierer Funden. (1991 - 2015).
Metcalf, D. Byzantine Lead Seals from Cyprus. (Nicosia, 2004).
Milovanovic, B. & A. Raickovic Savic. "Seal Boxes From the Viminacium Site" in Institute of Archaeology, Belgrade, STARINAR LXIII (2013), pp. 219 - 236.
Morrisson, C. "Monnaies en plomb byzantines" in RIN LXXXIII (1981).
Nesbitt, J. et al., eds. Catalogue of Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and the Fogg Museum of Art. (Washington, DC. 1991-2005).
Spink. Byzantine Seals from the Collection of George Zacos, Part I. Auction 127 (7 October 1998). London.
Spink. Byzantine Seals from the Collection of George Zacos, Part II. Auction 132 (25 May 1999). London.
Spink. Byzantine Seals from the Collection of George Zacos, Part III. Auction 135 (6 October 1999). London.
Still, M. Roman Lead Sealings. (London, 1995).
Youroukova P. & V. Penchev. Bulgarian Medieval Coins and Seals. (Sofia, 1990).
Zacos, G. Byzantine Lead Seals. (Berne, 1972-84).
Zwalf, W. ed. Buddhism Art and Faith. (New York, 1985).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
Page created in 1.516 seconds.
All coins are guaranteed for eternity