19th Century Wood, Brass and Glass Armorial Desk Seal

Seal Detail

During a time when the rights of the poor were oppressed, there were people who fought and advocated for the basic human rights of those not able to support themselves financially. 

This 19th century seal belonged to the Poor Law Commission, a body established to administer relief to those living in poverty in the United Kingdom, following the passing of the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834. The body had three commissioners, who became known as "The Bashaws of Somerset House", due to infighting within the hierarchy of the organisation. 

The handle is made of turned wood in a flat top form, tapering to a brass collar and mount which holds the glass seal matrix. The difficulty in carving glass makes this matrix all the more impressive, its intricacy and detail astonishing on such a fragile material. 

There is some damage to note, around the edge of the glass rim, the most vulnerable site. Some of the inscription on the matrix appears to be worn.

Seal Specification

Height 100mm

Diameter of matrix  24mm 

Weight 53g