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14.177

 

Bishop's Head, Mitre, Croizier

+ S' AB D E

[The ] S[eal] of the Abbot of ….. ; Lombardic

DE appears on face of seal.
Expert opinion suggests mitred abbot or bishop; AB representing Saint Augustine.
Another believes deliberately unnamed Abbott or possibly Bishop of a place dedicated to the dead. Probably an off-the-shelf item.

Matrix face


MATRIX:
Round | 13th century | French | silver ; More probably copper alloy with silver content | engraved

Seal view


SEAL:
Face with collar , mitre and croizier with tiny decoration probably letters D & E (making it unlikely to be counter seal).

Expert opinion:
Circular seal. We know that, in the end of the XI th century and in the beginning of the XII th century that the ecclesiastical seal became a vesica seal form (pointed seal).

This head is wearing a mitre : this element shows that this seal was probably made after mid-XII th century. The quarter length frontal figure wears a Pallium (band), down the front of the chest of a celebrant of the Mass and/or bishop or archbishop.
The mitre, pallium and Crozier are more appropriate to a bishop. Not many abbot's were so honored. However, the closed eyes, with seemingly parted lips may indicate a dead or martyred saint to whom said abbot owes alliegence.

There is no room for a saint's or place name, which seems deliberate. Is it an off-the-shelf item?

Back or Side view


BACK/HANDLE:
pyramid, ring(s) loop ; 5 Five sided pyramid with typical incised lines broad ring, diamond shaped loop
X to mark top on back.

height :
width :
diagonal : 1.56 cm
length :
blank : 0.2 cm
other :
weight : 7.0 grams


Provenance

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Bio.Ref.

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Category
Thematic
Keyword

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:
:

Office
Religious
Head ; Religious ; Initials

   

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