History of the seal. Purpose:. To keep a letter closed. Ensure if hasn’t been . . tampered with. Confirm it was indeed . . written by the sender. Time of use:. Old Testament, Middle . . Ages, but did not really . ID: 594923
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Sealed with a StampSlide2
History of the seal
To keep a letter closed
Ensure if hasn’t been
Confirm it was indeed
written by the sender
Time of use:
Old Testament, Middle
Ages, but did not really
take off until the
Who used them?
At first they were
used exclusively by monarchs
, bishops, and royal courts for use in issuing official decrees and authenticating
spreading from aristocrats, to monasteries and guilds
example, butchers would sign agreements with a seal bearing the image of a hog or cow
to ordinary freemen by the 13
Why the seal?
To keep a letter closed.
Travel, emigration and colonization increased
This was before
the British and American postal reforms of the mid-19
a letter was quite expensive; it cost 25 cents
($6.25 today) in
the US to send a letter over 450 miles – quite a sum in those days.
was based on distance and
number of sheets
. An envelope would have counted as an additional sheet – doubling the cost – so letter writers used as much of a single piece of paper as possible and then sealed it shut with wax or paste to avoid the extra expense.
were considered a frivolous luxury.Slide5
Passing of the seal
Official Seals of the Crown were often handed over with great ceremony, and in Medieval Times the size and motif of the Seal conveyed an image of the status of it’s
signet ring of
a dignitary was
frequently kissed by a diplomat or
as a sign of
Destroying the seal
Destroy the seal when:Because seals were symbols of power and were used to authenticate a person’s wishes, they were typically destroyed after the owner died to prevent forgeries.For example, when a Pope dies or retires
“Ring of the Fisherman”Slide7
Coming to America
first Seal of the United States was created by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams & Thomas Jefferson on July 4th
immediately after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Congress realized the necessity of such a seal for the newly established nation.Slide8
Why we stop using Seals?
Postal reforms in the latter half 19
the cost of postage and changed their basis from the number of sheets to overall
Envelope were now used.
were handmade by stationary clerks, 25 at a time, but
envelopes did not include
adhesive, so they still used wax seals
Seals became a more personal expression as well as a decorative embellishment.
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