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Seal impression (cast)

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of Arbroath Abbey, Angus

Seal impression (cast)
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This is a 19th century sulphur cast of a seal impression. The impression was made from the obverse of the seal of Arbroath Abbey in Angus, dating from the 13th century.

The seal depicts the martyrdom of St Thomas à Beckett. The abbey was dedicated to St Thomas who was murdered at the high altar in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. The inscription identifies the abbey. The gold border is modern cardboard trim.

Seals were used extensively from the 12th century in Scotland by kings, clergy, nobles and towns. In a society where few people could read or write, they provided evidence that documents were authentic.

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