Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

(1,556 words)

1. Definition

A seal (from Latin sigillum, diminutive of signum, “sign”; Italian sigillo, Spanish sello, French cachet or sceau, German Siegel) is a mirror image intaglio on a stamp (often itself called a seal) made of metal, stone, wood, or horn (typar or signet), which is pressed on a soft material that hardens rapidly (usually wax, but after c. 1560 more commonly lacquer) or a paper wafer. It serves to witness to legal acts of rulers, governm…

Cite this page
Walther, Gerrit, “Seal”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 May 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_031148>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210601

▲   Back to top   ▲