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Home > Coin Collecting Theme Galleries > Lead Seals

Draped bust of a slightly balding middle-aged man with sideburns



extremely fine

Early 4th Century

From the Gert Boersema files
Jay GT4
Draped bust of a slightly balding middle-aged man with sideburns

Cf. Gert Boersema stock no. 5705 (2010)=Münzzentrum 157 (2011), 552 for the same seal type with a clear legend;


10.74g; very fine

Note: The style of this portrait of a slightly balding middle-aged man with sideburns suggests a date in the early 4th century. It is the personal seal of a man called Aristanetos, as the Greek genitive legend indicates. In late Roman and early Byzantine times there are numerous personal seals that feature the portrait of the owner. Many of them are not known from other sources. These named portraits of individuals who were powerful and important in their day but are now long forgotten except for a few pieces of lead have a special kind of fascination.

From the Gert Boersema files
2 commentsJay GT4
Bardas Parsakoutenos, magistros and doux of Anatolikon. Lead seal c. AD 970-990 10291|Bardas Parsakoutenos, magistros and doux of Anatolikon. Lead seal c. AD 970-990
Star with six rays ending in something resembling arrows; circular invocational legend + KE ROHΘEI TW CW ΔUΛW
30mm; 16.24gram.

Before turning to the identification of the seal’s owner, there are a number of issues to be addressed about the reverse legend. Up to the fourth line, all is clear. A nominative legend listing Bardas’ dignity of magistros and his office of doux ton Anatolikon. The last line has his family name Pars(a)k(outenos). The fifth line, however, does not make sense. It might be an engraver’s error, repeating TWN of the third line and O ΠAP of the last line. This explanation, even though unelegant, has to do for now, unless an otherwise unknown office or command is meant.
The seal’s owner is probably the person named in Leon Diakonos (VII.1) as one of three brothers Parsakoutenos, who backed Bardas Phokas the younger during his rebellion of AD 970 against John I Tzimiskes. These brothers, Theodore, Bardas and Nikephoros took their name, according to Leon, “after the city of their birth, Parsakouta”, which is a village on the road between Nymphaion and Sardis in the Thrakesian theme (p. 162, n.4 of the English edition). Leon adds that the Parsakoutenoi were cousins of Bardas Phokas and that they held the rank of patrikios and adds that they ‘mustered troops with great zeal’. Skylitzes (291.13-14) adds that Theodore and Nikephoros were the sons of the patrikios Theodoulos Parsakoutenos, and were exarchs in Cappadocia (p. 162, n.3). The rebellion, however, was extinguished by the skilled general Bardas Skleros, and Bardas Phokas was temporarily imprisoned.
Leon Diakonos once again mentions Bardas Parsakoutenos in book X, chapter 7, during the revolt of Bardas Skleros. He is now called magistros, a higher rank than patrikios, which implies that his earlier allegience to a usurper had not frustrated his political career. In the late 970’s, Skleros conquered large parts of Asia and was threatening to blockade the Dardanelles, hindering merchants and grain transports to the capital. In the end, he was defeated by Bardas Phokas on 24th of March 979 and fled to Muslim territory. But before his final defeat on the battleground, according to Leon Diakonos, his fortress at Abydos was seized, his army destroyed, and fire was set to his fleet of triremes by an imperial fleet of fireships dispatched from the capital under the command of Bardas Parsakoutenos. The seal, listing Bardas’ dignity as magistros, not patrikios as attested in AD 970, might well be from this period.
1 commentsGert
Basileios, diakonos, chartoularios and protekdikos. Byzantine lead seal 11th century ADBasileios, diakonos, chartoularios and protekdikos. Byzantine lead seal 11th century AD
The Virgin Hodegetria, wearing nimbus, chiton and maphorion, pointing with her right hand to Infant Christ, who she is holding on her left arm. Christ is wearing a nimbus cruciger decorated with pearls, chiton and himation. He is holding a scroll in his left hand, his right hand resting in the fold of his mother’s maphorion below the chin. In left and right fields, MP–ΘV; Circular inscription +ΘKE ROHΘEI-[TW CW ΔOVΛW] within two concentric circles
35mm, 22.26g; extremely fine but for some areas of striking weakness, and of the finest style.

As protekdikos, Basileios was the presiding cleric of the tribunal of priests of Hagia Sophia, known as the ekdikoi. As chartoularios he was assistant to the patriarch of Constantinopolis.
1 commentsGert
BCC LS14Lead Seal
Roman 1st-3rd Cent CE?
Obv: Trophy with helmet, cuirass and two
shields (oblong and round) at extremities,
or possibly Anguipede, stylized Persian influenced
snake-legged figure, usually with head of rooster,
carrying flail and shield.
Rev: Blank.
16 x 13mm. 5.55gm.
Surface find Caesarea Maritima, 1974
J. Berlin Caesarea Collection
1 commentsv-drome
BCC RS1Lead seal
Roman 2nd-3rd cent CE
Obv: Radiate bust right (Sol).
Rev: Bust to right with crescent below (Luna).
possible letters in field to left and right.
13x10mm. 2.9 gm. Axis:0
Surface find from Caesarea Maritima ca. 1960.
Byzantine Empire Georgios Lead Seal (700AD)Georgios. Byzantine lead seal 7th century AD

Obv: Cruciform invocative monogram ΘEOTOKE BOHΘEI
Rev: Cruciform monogram ΓEWPΓIOV
Size: 22mm
Wgt: 10.03g
Byzantine Empire: Anonymous Lead Seal (11th-12th Century AD) Byzantine Empire: Anonymous Lead Seal (11th-12th Century AD)

Obv: Facing bust of the Archangel Michael, wearing loros and holding scepter and globe
Rev: Patriarchal cross with floral ornaments
Size: 16mm
Wgt: 4.78g
Byzantine Empire: Anonymous Lead Seal (11th-12th Century)Byzantine Empire: Anonymous Lead Seal (11th-12th Century)

Obv: +OV | CΦPA | ΓIC EI | MI in four lines
Rev: THN | ΓPAΦ, | RΛEΠ | NOEI in four lines
Size: 21mm
Wgt: 9.34g

Cf. Orghidan 556 (same legend on an iconographical seal);

(“Ou sphragis eimi, tèn graphèn blepòn noei” – “Observe the document to see whose seal I am”)
Byzantine Empire: Anonymous Lead Seal (ca. 11-12th Century)Obv: IC-XC to left and right of bust of Christ with beard and nimbus cruciger, wearing pallium and colobium, raising hand in benediction and holding Book of Gospels inside border
Rev: M-Q to left and right of Mary, nimbate, hands raised inside border
Byzantine Empire: David, Hypatos Lead Seal (fist half of 8th Century AD)Byzantine Empire: David, Hypatos Lead Seal (fist half of 8th Century AD)

Obv: ΔAVIΔ in cruciform floral design, within wreath
Rev: VΠATW in cruciform floral design, within wreath
Size: 27mm
Wgt: 15.05g
2 commentsQuant.Geek
Byzantine Empire: Johannes Lead Seal (6th-7th Century AD)Johannes. Byzantine lead seal 6th-7th century AD

Obv: Bust of the Virgin, wearing plain nimbus, holding Infant Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger; cross on either side
Rev: Cruciform monogram IWANNOV
Size: 22mm
Wgt: 8.97g
Byzantine Empire: Justinian I (527-565) Pb Imperial Seal (Zacos–Veglery 3a, BZS.1958.106.563)Obv: Nimbate, beardless bust of Justinian I, facing forward, wearing both a helmet with diadem, trefoil ornament, and pendilia, and a chlamys. A circular inscription beginning at left. Border of dots.

D N IVSTINI ANVS PP AVG - Dominus noster Iustinianus perpetuus augustus (Our lord Justinian, eternal augustus)

Rev: Winged Victory advancing, wearing a long chiton and holding a victory wreath in each hand. A small cross visible at left and right. No epigraphy. Border of dots.
1 commentsQuant.Geek
Byzantine Empire: Nonnos Lead Seal (6th-7th Century AD)Nonnos Lead Seal (6th-7th Century AD)

Obv: Eagle standing left, head right, with wings spread, supporting block monogram NONNOV
Rev: NON | NOV within wreath
Size: 22mm
Wgt: 7.94g
Byzantine Lead SealAttributed to Anasias or Iulianos. Pending more informationQuant.Geek
Byzantine Lead Seal circa 1000Obv: Virgin Holding Medallion of Christ's Head
Rev: Four-line Inscription
19 mm
Byzantine Lead Seal circa 1000Obv: Standing Military Saint Holding Spear and Shield
Rev: Six-line Inscription
17 mm
Byzantine Lead Seal circa 1000Obv: Virgin Holding Christ Child (Hodegetria)
Rev: Four-line Inscription
18-19 mm
Byzantine Lead Seal circa 1000Obv: Bust of Bearded Saint Holding Cross
Rev: Four-line inscription, STEPHANOS SYMAHIA (Stephanos Alliance or Union)
13 mm
Byzantine Lead Seal, 7th-9th CenturyObv: Cruciform Invocative Monogram Atop Large Wreath
Rev: Five-Line Inscription
25 x 20 mm
Byzantine Lead Seal: Anonymous Iconographic Seal (ca. 10-12th Century)Obv: Bust of St. John Prodromos with cross nimbus
Rev: In a wreath, a cross with curved arms and serifs
2 commentsQuant.Geek
Byzantine Lead Seal: John, Archbishop of EphesusObv: Cruciform invocative monogram - Θεοτόκε βοήθει τῷ σῷ δούλῳ
Rev: Inscription of four lines - Ἰωάννῃ ἀρχιεπισκόπῳ Ἐφέσου

"Mother of God, help your servant John, archbishop of Ephesus"
1 commentsQuant.Geek
Byzantine SealO: Nimbate bust

R: Monogram

Per FORVM member Gert (thanks!):
"Your seal has a monogram that can be solved NIKOLAOV, the genitive of Nicholas, who would have been the owner of the seal, assuming the letter at the bottom extremity is Alpha (and Lambda at the same time, of course).
The portrait on the obverse can well be Saint Nicholas as well, but from the photo I can't say for sure. For this time period (6th/7th century AD) St. Nicholas is quite rare, but with the reading of the monogram in mind, it would be a good guess."
Byzantine seal invoking Ephraim the Syrian - 11th century ADByzantine lead seal Ephraim 11th century AD
Nimbate half-length bust of Saint Ephraim, holding cross in right hand and scroll in left hand; to left:
Θ|E|V; to r.: Φ|P|E
17mm; 4.47g; extremely fine.

This seems to be the only known Byzantine seal with the portrait of Ephraim/Ephrem the Syrian.

The reverse legend is a twelve syllable verse which translates “Father Ephraim, may you protect me, who shares your name.”
2 commentsGert
Constantius II and Constantius Gallus AD 351-354 Pb Imperial Seal, 14mm, 2.29g.
Laureate bust of Constantius II to right, facing bare-headed bust of Constantius Gallus.
Reference: Cf. for parallel example Münzzentrum Rheinland 151 (21 April 2009), lot 875.
Notes: ex-Gert Boersma, electronic sale, 8/8/15.
John Anthony
DIOCLETIAN (?). ROMAN LEAD SEALBareheaded, bearded bust (Diocletian) right, confronted by bearded and diademed bust(Jupiter?) left


2.35g; conical shape; very fine

Note: The attribution to Diocletian is uncertain. The portrait is not laureate and could be a dignitary or private citizen.

From the Gert Boersema files
Jay GT4
Nice seal, not sure who's designNeed help finding out who's seal this would be. Found on an Iroquois Indian site in NY. Please help me find who's design this would have been, thanks....mike
ROMAN IMPERIAL (?) LEAD SEAL C. 3RD CENTURY ADTwo confronted laureate (?) heads

18mm diameter, 13mm thickness;

round, slightly conical shape

From the Gert Boersema sold files
Jay GT4
ROMAN IMPERIAL LEAD SEAL (BULLA)Busts of two emperors, one profile, the other facing, both draped and cuirassed and wearing diadem (possibly a third bust to right, off flan)

Roma seated left on shield, holding spear and Victory on globe



5th Century AD

From the Gert Boersema files
Jay GT4
Roman imperial lead seal late 4th/early 5th centuryRoman imperial lead seal late 4th/early 5th century
Three imperial busts facing, all draped and diademed. The central bust largest, the left bust smallest; above each bust, christogram; to left, DDD and to right, [NNN].
5.13g; 19x15x6mm; 5.13g

2 commentsGert
Roman imperial lead seal of Constantius IIRoman imperial lead seal of Constantius II AD 337-361, struck c. 355-361
D N CONSTANTIVS * MAX AVGVSTVS; pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
15x22x8 mm, 6.40 g; reverse conical
Roman Imperial Lead Seal, The First Tetrarchy, Diocletian and Maximian, Galerius and ConstantiusRoman imperial lead Seal
The first Tetrarchy, 293-305 AD

Obverse: Diocletian and Maximian Augusti and Galerius and Constantius Caesari.
Radiate and draped busts of the two Augusti, confronted, above, the two Caesari, confronted, below.
Weight: 7.42 g, Dimensions: 19.8 x 24 x 7 mm, Period: 293-305 AD
Likely that Coins issued from the Imperial mints would have been put into bags using Seals such as this.
Constantine IV
ROMAN IMPERIAL LEAD SEAL-FIRST TETRARCHYFirst Tetrarchy, Diocletian and Maximian augusti and Galerius and Constantius caesares Roman imperial lead seal (bulla)

The two augusti face to face, the two caesares face to face below, all draped and wearing radiate crowns


6.10g; Leukel N17-N23; Conical shape, extremely fine

AD 293-305.

From the Gert Boersema files
2 commentsJay GT4
Roman imperial seal of Maximinus I and Maximus CaesarRoman lead seal of Maximinus I AD 235-238
Draped and laureate bust of Maximinus to r., confronted by draped, bareheaded bust of Maximus Caesar to l.; above, P and an uncertain letter to the right
17x16x4; 3.23g. Dutch private collection.

3 commentsGert
Roman Imperial: Anonymous (ca. 3rd-4th Century AD) Pb Seal, ND, Trier (Leukel 418-430)Obv: Rider on horseback facing right, holding spear in right hand
Rev: Blank
Roman Imperial: Anonymous Lead SealObv: Hunter on horse, spearing bull
Rev: Blank
3 commentsQuant.Geek
Roman Imperial: First Tetrarchy Lead Seal - Diocletian and Maximian augusti and Galerius and Constantius caesares (Leukel N17-N23)Obv: The two augusti face to face, the two caesares face to face below, all draped and wearing radiate crowns
Rev: Blank
2 commentsQuant.Geek
Roman Lead Imperial SealRoman lead imperial seal
Two confronted laureate heads (Diocletian and Maximian?)



c. 3rd-4th century AD

From the Gert Boersema file
1 commentsJay GT4
ROMAN LEAD IMPERIAL SEALLucilla, wife of Lucius Verus AD 161-169, Roman lead imperial seal (bulla)

Draped bust right

Reverse blank

Cf. M�nzzentrum Rheinland 151 (2009) 861; CNG 217 (2009), 375 (�Faustina II?�); 13.67g; 19mm; near very fine

From the Gert Boersema sold files
Jay GT4
ROMAN LEAD IMPERIAL SEAL LATE 4TH-5TH CENTURY ADConfronted bust, wearing diademed helmet, flanked by female bust (?) on l. and another bust on r.

18x16x5.5mm; 4.14g;

From the Gert Boersema sold files
Jay GT4
Roman lead imperial seal of Constantine II CaesarRoman imperial lead seal of Constantine II Caesar AD 317-337
CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB.C; laureate bust right
Victory advancing left, holding palm branch and wreath
13mm; 3.08g; very fine; Found Zuid-Limburg, Heerlen, near the German border

Apparently unpublished, but cf. Leukel 74 for a seal of Constantine II with a draped bust and Victory advancing right. Leukel publishes several seals of this period produced with a boulloterion, and Oikonomides in SBS I (1987) publishes an actual boulloterion of Constans Caesar, contemporary with this seal.

Although he was only a child at the time, Constantine II became the formal commander of “Gaul” upon the death of his half-brother Crispus in AD 320. Present-day Netherlands was part of his domain and so it is no coincidence that a seal of his would be found here.

22.5x18.5x13mm; 14.22g;

conical shape; fine

Note: Although this seal seems to depict a bare-headed bust, other examples of this seal type have a clearly visible laurel wreath.

222-235 AD

From the Gert Boersema sold files
Jay GT4
ROMAN LEAD IMPERIAL SEAL – FIRST TETRARCHY, C. AD 294The four tetrarchs sacrificing above tripod

15x17mm; 4.68g;

conical shape; fine

Note: This scene of the four tetrarchs sacrificing is well known from argentei of the First Tetrarchy, albeit there is a turreted enclosure in the background. This seal must be dated at approximately the same time these coins were minted.

From the Gert Boersema sold files
1 commentsJay GT4
Roman Lead Imperial Seal: Constantius IIHead of Constantius II

legend begining DN on left Chi-Ro on right


12mm X 15mm

4th century AD
Jay GT4
Roman lead sealRoman lead seal with erotic scenemauseus
Roman lead sealRoman lead seal with laureate head left above dolphin, both between two confronted laureate heads; below, an additional laureate head facing right and a second dolphin. 1 commentsmauseus
Roman lead sealRoman lead seal with bearded bust rightmauseus
ROMAN LEAD SEALHead of bearded Hercules to right, in three quarter profile



concical shape; very fine

From the Gert Boersema files
Jay GT4
ROMAN LEAD SEALDraped bust of Ganymedes right, wearing Phrygian hat, lagobalon to left


2nd Century AD

Conical shape, nice very fine

From the Gert Boersema files
Jay GT4
ROMAN LEAD SEALFacing bust, flanked by two profile busts, all draped and wearing cuirass; Above, DDD[NNN] ('Dominorum Nostrorum')



very fine, rough spot

Note: On a number of occasions three emperors ruled the Roman empire. This seal might well belong to the joint reign of Arcadius, Honorius and Theodosius II.

Early 5th century.

From the Gert Boersema files
Jay GT4
ROMAN LEAD SEALConfronted head

Female? on left bearded man on right

massive 10.88g

15mm X 18mm
Jay GT4
Roman Lead Seal
Unattributed. Features three busts.
Roman lead seal 'Roman lead seal c. 3rd century
REGIONIS ELLESPONL - ACA - E; Ram standing right

The inscription reads "Regionis Hellespon(ti)acae" indicating this seal belonged to the region of the Hellespont. The ram is probably a reference to the legend of the Golden Fleece, that took place, for a part, in this region.
3 commentsGert
Roman lead seal "Lamb of God" 4th century ADRoman lead seal “Lamb of God”
4th century AD
Lamb of God to right, head facing, wearing nimbus; above head, cross; to left, dove holding branch; to right, cross or trace of inscription
Cf. a lead seal published by J. Spier in “Late antique gems”, S11, which has the lamb to left, and no nimbus and dove; 2.35g; 15mm; very fine
1 commentsGert
Roman lead seal - Dancing girlRoman lead seal “Dancing girl” c. 3rd-4th century AD
Dancing girl, in long chiton, stole draped over right arm, turning around in dance, holding timbrel in each hand.
18x15x10mm; 9.85g; Conical shape; very fine; Ex Münzzentrum 13-01-2010.

The dancing figure on this seal was conjectured by the MZ cataloguer to be Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Moses and Aron, who lead a dance after the Jews crossed the Red Sea (Exodus 15:19-32), but the pose is also typical of dancing nymphs and meanads.
Roman lead seal Hadrian?
Head of Hadrian? right letters before and behind bust


Certainly looks like Hadrian but could possibly be later 3-4th Century AD.
1 commentsJay GT4
Roman lead seal “Good Shepherd”Roman lead seal “Good Shepherd” c. 3rd-4th century AD
Jesus Christ, as the Good Shepherd, standing left, wearing short sleeveless tunic, carrying sheep across his shoulders. Two more sheep on either side.
Cf. J. Spier “Late antique gems” S10-17, Asamer and Winter “Antike Bleiplomben”, 122, no. 4; 18x14x7mm; 4.45g; extremely fine
2 commentsGert
Roman lead seal “Sacrifice of Isaac” 3rd-4th century ADRoman lead seal “Sacrifice of Isaac”
3rd-4th century AD
Abraham standing left, holding dagger in uplifted right hand; before him, kneeling left, Isaac; to right, tree with ram; to right above, hand of God
Cf. J. Spier “Late antique gems” S4 (with inscription EIC ΘEOC) and S5 (scene reversed); 17x14x6mm; 4.38 gram.

The story of the sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22, 1-19) serves as an archetypical story of salvation and the ram sent by God to replace Isaac as a sacrifice was (and still is) interpreted by chistians as a typology for Christ. For this reason it was a popular iconographical theme during the earliest stages of christianity.
Rome, Lead Seal, #01, 4-Caesar, Tetrarchy,Rome, Lead Seal, #01, 4-Caesar, Tetrarchy,
"Roman imperial lead conical seal. 1st tetrarchy, Diocletian and Maximian augusti and Galerius and Constantius caesares, AD 293-305, The two augusti face to face, the two caesares face to face below, all draped and wearing radiate crowns
16x20mm; 6.10g; Leukel N17-N23; Extremely fine" by Gert; thank you Gert
diameter: 22mm
Rome, Lead Seal, #02Roman Lead Seal,
Two Victoria face to face both holding wreath, beetween them two bust right are diademed faceing left (like Augustus and a Caesar), down are lionwalking right faceing left, some letters in the left side, like part of the legend.
May be 4th century, "Constantine-I and one of his son".
size: 18mm,
Rome, Lead Seal, #03, Quadriga, Rome, Lead Seal, #03, Quadriga,
"I think it dates to the beginning of the 4th century, and it is published in the supplement of Leukel, Römische Bleiplomben aus Trierer Funden, N226-240. There, the depiction is described as 'two Victories in two bigas to right', but I think it is more probably just one quadriga with a second Victory flying above. This is quite a common seal, which might indicate that it is an imperial seal, not a personal one." by Gert. Thank you Gert.
Extremely fine.
diameter: 21mm,
weight: ,
1 commentsquadrans
Rome, Lead Seal, #30, "ICOVXPICT"Rome, Lead Seal, #30, "ICOVXPICT"
"The upper register indeed shows Christ as the good shepherd. The lower register shows a married couple with their child. Can't tell their gender from this photo. A cross (or christogram?) above. The inscription probably reads ICOV XPICT - I(H)COV XPICT(OV), Jesus Christ. I'd say the date is first half 4th century." by Gert, Thank you Gert.
2 commentsquadrans
Rome, Lead Seal, #31,Rome, Lead Seal, #31,
Helmeted head right.
Mid-4th century or later???
Anonymous/anepigraphic types.
Constantinian type of the face.
diameter: 15mm,
1 commentsquadrans
Rome, Lead Seal, #52,Rome, Lead Seal, #52,
IN...HA, Bare head right, draped.
diameter: 13,5-18,5mm, weight: 4,77g,
Spain - Ferdinand and Isabella - 330 grams!Ferdinand & Isabella (1469-1504)
Lead Seal ND, 91mm, 330.45g, Fine, corroded, rim dents.
An unusual item, bearing separate titles of Ferdinand and Isabella on each side; one with a portrait of the King on horseback, the other with the Queen seated facing on a Gothic throne supporting the arms of the Catholic Monarchs.
3 commentsSosius
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