Thursday, April 19, 2012


“But of all other stupendous inventions, what sublimity of mind must have been his who conceived how to communicate his most secret thoughts to any other person, though very far distant, either in time or place? And with no greater difficulty than the various arrangement of two dozen little signs upon paper? Let this be the seal of all the admirable inventions of man.”
~ Galileo Galilei

What's a seal? An embossed emblem, figure, or symbol used as evidence of authenticity. It gives a feeling of formality, of seriousness, of definitiveness. If you "seal the deal," it's done. How long have people been making seals? Let's start with one from 2000 B.C.:

Stamp seal: unicorn or bull and inscription,
Mature Harappan period, ca. 2600–1900 B.C., Indus Valley
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Triangular label impressed with stamp seal: for grain loan (clay),
ca. 7th century B.C. Mesopotamia, Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), Assyrian
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

A Song Dynasty governmental seal,
circa 1,000 years ago, copper.
The Golden Bull of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, 1356

Queen Victoria's Great Seal of Canada
imbedded in sculpture in Major's Hill Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Oak Seal Ring
by János Gábor Varga

Aesop's Fables Seal Necklace
by Plum and Posey, Inc.


* How to make your own sealing wax
* DIY Wooden Dowel Seal
* A stamp and cylinder seal art lesson plan
* Make your own computer image seal


HWY said...

Love stamps and seals. Even bought a set for myself many years ago, but, alas, never really got a chance to use it (without seeming very pretentious!).

The bull stamp seal is just beautiful.

Author Amok said...

I love how the grain seal resembles a mask. So cool!