Copper alloy seal matrix: Late 13th century
© Museum of London
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Copper alloy seal matrix in the shape of a pointed oval. On it is a rampant lion, standing on his hind legs, and an inscription around the edge: "S' ALICIE DE BASCISHAWE" : "seal of Alice of Bassishaw". This form of seal die, a pointed oval known as 'vesica shaped', was used particularly by women and churchmen. Bassishaw was a district in the centre of the City of London near the Guildhall, as well as the name of one of the City's twenty four wards. Nothing is known about Alice, but she must have been wealthy and important, since only a woman who was involved in trade or business or owned land in her own right would need a seal.
1260 AD - 1300 AD