Monday 4 June 2007

A question of Seal Cases

From time to time (frequently!) I am asked questions pertaining to the Heraldry of Cheshire via my Cheshire Heraldry web site and I do my best to give a sensible and informative reply. Today, however I received a request for information which was a tad beyond my limited knowledge and was not in any case specific to Cheshire.


Dear Sir, I have a few questions relating to the technical aspects of the Patents issued by the College of Arms respecting the Pendant Seals attached to such Patents of Arms.
Possibly, you might be able to easily answer such questions:
1) What is the diameter across of the pendant seals of the Kings of Arms?
2) What firm is the manufacturer of the seal-cases or 'skippets' in which such wax seals are enclosed?
3) How is the wax physically poured into such 'skippets' and the seal applied? Is there some type of bespoke wax seal burner or 'pot' in which a large quantity of wax is melted and then poured into the skippets?
4) Is the sealing wax used in the seals of the English Kings of Arms some special type of wax? If so, would you know the supplier of such wax?
Thanking you in advance for any information which you might have on the pendant seals used by the Kings of Arms, I remain, with all best wishes,
Yours sincerely,

Since my letters patent are safely sleeping in a bank vault and I never thought to measure the seal cases, I fell at the first hurdle!
I suggested the enquirer might like to send the same letter to the College of Arms. I often wonder why questioners don't seek a reply straight from the horse's mouth. Why this enquiry came to me instead of them, I'll never know.

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