Early 20thC Continental Elm & Silver Personal Desk Seal

Seal Detail

An intriguing Continental wood and silver desk seal dating to the early 20th century, the turned handle of elm tapering to a tall silver collar and integral mount, struck with a maker's mark ML and monarch's head.  The circular matrix is well engraved with depiction of a snake and dove, either side of a cypher BE with inscription reading:

PRUDENTES UT SERPENTES * SIMPLICES UT COLUMBAE  ("Wise as serpents, simples as doves"

Presumably, taken from the Bible "...Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves". Matthew 10:16

Seal Specification

Height 80mm

Diameter of matrix  24mm 

Weight 41g