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19.07.2021

Seal matrix

Medieval, circa late 13th or 14th century A.D.

Found with a metal detector in Meonstock, Hampshire, in 2002.

This pointed oval copper alloy seal leaves a clear imprint in red sealing wax. The center field depicts a castle with a large door containing a raised portcullis. On the roof is a right-facing bird, swallowing, apparently, a crane. On either side of the bird is a key. The legend begins with a cross at the top of the tip and reads "S'CASTELLANI.DE.BOVSENCOVRT". This translates as "the seal of the castellan of Buzencourt." The castellan was the keeper or ruler of a medieval castle, and one would expect him to have the keys. The whereabouts of Buzencourt are not exactly known. However, an Internet search revealed that there is a modern place called Bouzencourt near Amiens in the Picardy region of northeastern France, and there is a medieval castle in nearby Le Hamel. Future research may tell us more.

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