17thC Italian Walnut Religious Desk Wax Seal

Impressive desk wax seal dating to around 1650-90 relating to church correspondence made of walnut with integral walnut matrix.

Seal Detail

This is a beautiful example of a rarely found wooden desk seal dating to the mid 17th century and probably from Italy.  The item appears to be made entirely from a single piece of walnut, the handle of slightly tapering form with knopp top.  The plainly decorated lower cushion increases in size to a large circular matrix, intricately cut with central devices comprising what appears to represent the Pentarchy - the five episcopal sees of the Roman Empire, namely Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem.  The circumscription is in latin and heavily abbreviated and beyond the means of this author!   The overall condition of the object is superb and the only apparent damage is to the outer rim of the matrix which is the thinnest part of the wood.  This has been chipped over the years and obviously aged damage.

Seal Specification

Height overall: 160mm (6.29")

Diameter of matrix: 100mm (3.93")

Weight: 290g (10.22oz)