Sigillary ring : armorial signet ring for seals
By definition, a sigillary ring is a ring with a large tray (also called kitten) on which is engraved a pattern, usually a coat of arms, which can be used as a seal to seal documents with wax.
Seal ring of the Templars with its wax seal
The ancient origin of the use of the seals is established and goes back to more than 4000 years before our era.
At the time of Mesopotamia, before the emergence of the Pharaohs and the Egyptian civilization, engraved cylinders served as seals to mark fresh clay, thus ensuring the authenticity of legal documents.
Seal cylinder of mesopotamia (source)
I can only recommend reading the Wikipedia article on seals which is passionating.
Although the use of the first seals goes back more than 6000 years, these are still used today, among other things in the form of computer seals to certify electronic documents.
We propose you here to discover the different types of sigillary rings, monogrammed seals rings or initials or even signs with coat of arms and to explain to you how they are made.
What are the sigillary rings engraved with ?
Used to mark documents to authenticate them, they are engraved with everything that can be personal while being difficult to copy.
Of course they have evolved over time to become more elaborate (and complex).
If the engraving of coat of arms on signet rings and the wearing of signet rings were very regulated for the nobility during the Middle Ages, it is not the case today.
Many non-noble families have engraved signet rings with their family's weapons or coat of arms.
We will see that these sigillary rings can be in the form :
- of monograms
- of coats of arms or seals
Signet rings engraved with initials
Made of silver or gold, these signet rings are engraved with initials in hollow or in relief.
Note that if initially the sigillary rings were engraved in hollow so as to be able to leave a imprint in wax on relief on the seal, it is current nowadays to see signet rings with embossed initials, these not being used any more for the making of wax seals.
Signet rings engraved with monograms
Close to the signet rings designs with initials, monograms bring together several letters within the same drawing, letters having a particular meaning, it can be a name, a symbol or a sentence.
Seals and signet rings with coat of arms
These rings include coats of arms engraved in relief or in hollow in both silver and gold.
In principle, these rings do not differ from the previous ones because they are seal rings, but the intaglio engraving is made in stone, it can be onyx, carnelian (stone prized by the Romans), lapis lazuli ...
The engraving on stone is delicate, it can be made on translucent (carnelian, amethyst) or opaque (onyx, lapis lazuli) gemstones.
Creation of custom seal rings
If you want to make your signet ring with a personalized seal and you are wondering about the price of your project, I invite you to read this article detailing the price of a signet ring made to measure.
You can consult our custom ring creation service on this page before contacting us for a quote request for your project.
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