Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Medieval Vesica Seal to be auctioned at Boldon Auction Galleries


A complete copper alloy ‘Vesica’ seal matrix of the Medieval period (AD 1175 - AD 1250).

The Vesica shaped (pointed oval) object has an intact suspension loop (handle) to the reverse, as well as a tapering raised mid rib.

The central design shows two oppositely facing conjoined heads. The left facing head (right on impression) depicts a veiled female; the right facing head (left on impression) appears to depict a male with substantial features, possibly a moustache. At the apex there is a trefoil with two curls and below a stem leading to the conjoined heads. Below the conjoined heads leads to another trefoil flanked by two singular pellets. The design is central to a beaded border. 

Edging the beaded border of the seal matrix is an inscription, beginning with a star above a crescent and reading: SIGILLVm . ADE DE TInDAL (Seal [of] Adam of Tindal/Tynedale).

The design of the seal with the central two heads, suggests that the seal is of the 13th century. The motifs were common in this period.

The inscription is easily recognised to be associated with two individuals named Adam De Tindale, a father and son, recorded as Barons of Langley in the late 12th to mid-13th century.  

For Auction 11th May 2022.

Estimate £2,000 - £3,000

A brief history of The Baron of Langley:

In the period the seal matrix is likely to have been forged, the Baron of Langley was 13,000 acres and bounded by the River Allen and the Black Dyke earthwork to the West; edged to the North by the South of Muckle Moss. Bushfell to the South, and Nether Warden and the South Tyne of Kingshaw Plain to the East. The estate centralised on Langley Castle, the current focal point of the area.

Due to the commonality of the motif in the 13th Century, the seal matrix is likely to belong to Adam De Tindale junior; Adam De Tindale senior is recorded as holding the Barony until the AD 1189, under Henry II, succeeded by his son who held the Barony from AD 1189 under Richard I, potentially dying around AD 1233.

The seal matrix was found by metal detector in the South Tyneside area.

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