Shield-shaped seal matrix: 14th century
© Museum of London
Full image caption
Copper alloy seal matrix in the shape of a shield. In the centre is a merchant's mark or symbol and around the edge is an inscription. This seal matrix was found in the River Thames. It belonged to a man called Jacob van Cosvelde, the letters around the edge spell out "+ S IACOB VAN COSVELDE", who was probably a Flemish merchant who either lived in London or travelled here for trade. The Flemish were renowned for trading in quality textiles and for being skilled weavers. Jacob would have used the seal matrix to stamp his personal seal in melted wax on letters and business documents. Perhaps he lost it while getting on or off his ship.
1301 AD - 1400 AD