Seals and Status: Power of Objects

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For 7,000 years, seals have functioned as signs of authority. This publication deals specifically with aspects of status in the history of seals, exploring this theme across a diverse range of cultural contexts – from the 9th century through the Early
Modern period and across the world, looking at Byzantine, European, Islamic and Chinese examples.

These objects are united by the significant roles they played in social status hierarchies, in the status of institutions, as indications of power and finally in notions of relative status among objects themselves. In addition to their chronological and
geographical diversity, these studies concentrate on many different phases of seal use. Therefore, together they highlight the importance of studying the full life cycle of seals, from the ways in which they were made and used through to their afterlives
and sometimes destruction.

Seals and Status looks at seals used by all members of society. It examines examples ranging from the Roman gem of Emperor Antoninus Pius set in a medieval matrix, to the 17th-century matrix of the Providence Island Company founded to establish a Puritan
colony in the Caribbean.

This publication complements the British Museum’s ongoing digitisation programme of the Museum’s collection of seal matrices, which will widen access to this fascinating body of material.

More about the authors

John Cherry has studied medieval seal matrices since he worked at the British Museum from 1964 to 2002, and has published numerous articles on them.

Jessica Berenbeim is University Lecturer in Literature and Visual Culture at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Jesus College.

Lloyd de Beer is the Ferguson Curator of Medieval Europe at the British Museum. He has published on medieval seals, reliquaries and sculpture.

  • Product Code: CMC0861592135
  • AUTHOR: John Cherry, Jessica Berenbeim, Lloyd de Beer
  • NUMBER OF PAGES: 150
  • FORMAT: Paperback
  • Dimension: 29.7cm x 21cm
  • SUBTITLE: British Museum
  • Illustrations: 150
  • Weight: 0.58 Kg

For 7,000 years, seals have functioned as signs of authority. This publication deals specifically with aspects of status in the history of seals, exploring this theme across a diverse range of cultural contexts – from the 9th century through the Early
Modern period and across the world, looking at Byzantine, European, Islamic and Chinese examples.

These objects are united by the significant roles they played in social status hierarchies, in the status of institutions, as indications of power and finally in notions of relative status among objects themselves. In addition to their chronological and
geographical diversity, these studies concentrate on many different phases of seal use. Therefore, together they highlight the importance of studying the full life cycle of seals, from the ways in which they were made and used through to their afterlives
and sometimes destruction.

Seals and Status looks at seals used by all members of society. It examines examples ranging from the Roman gem of Emperor Antoninus Pius set in a medieval matrix, to the 17th-century matrix of the Providence Island Company founded to establish a Puritan
colony in the Caribbean.

This publication complements the British Museum’s ongoing digitisation programme of the Museum’s collection of seal matrices, which will widen access to this fascinating body of material.

More about the authors

John Cherry has studied medieval seal matrices since he worked at the British Museum from 1964 to 2002, and has published numerous articles on them.

Jessica Berenbeim is University Lecturer in Literature and Visual Culture at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Jesus College.

Lloyd de Beer is the Ferguson Curator of Medieval Europe at the British Museum. He has published on medieval seals, reliquaries and sculpture.

  • Product Code: CMC0861592135
  • AUTHOR: John Cherry, Jessica Berenbeim, Lloyd de Beer
  • PAGES: 150
  • FORMAT: Paperback
  • Weight: 0.58 Kg
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