Circular seal matrix: 13th century
© Museum of London
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Circular Seal matrix, with a suspension loop at the back. Made of silver. It is set with a classical agate intaglio of the 1st century BC showing two peacocks, one is standing on a globe. The inscription around, in reversed Lombardic letters, reads 'DULCIS AMORIS ODOR' - 'the sweet scent of love' or 'the sent of sweet love'. The reuse of antique gems in medieval jewellery is not uncommon, and they were believed to have magical properties. The peacock was the emblem of the goddess Juno; from the belief that its flesh could never decay, it became a Christian symbol of immortality.
1201 AD - 1300 AD