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Imperial Seal Boxes
#1
Hinged boxes used for this purpose have been found in in the whole Roman Empire, where they tend to be date in a very wide historical range and are mostly of enameled bronze . Seal Boxes depicting imperial busts are with a high relief. Most of them have an ovoid shape. An example found in Ostia bearing the portraits of Hadrian and Sabina (p. 464, 151) and seal boxes with portraits of Vespasian and Domitian have been found in London and must have been used by high officials (P. Salway, A History of Roman Britain [Oxford 2001], p. 381).
This was certainly the case with this piece, especially given its splendid portrait of the Flavius Family, which was surely made by workers in the imperial mint in Rome and then sent out for official use in the provinces.
When the Romans sent important small packages by courier, such as documents or valuables, they were were placed in strong leather or cloth bags, which were sealed with a stout cord, the knot covered in wax and impressed with the sender's signet. To protect the wax seal, it and the knot were encased in a small, ornamental metal box with an hinged lid and three holes in the back for the cord. In addition, the lid could be kept closed by further cords sewn to the package and tied around it.
Publication Forum Ancient Coins :
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog...s=0&sold=1
 Titus 79-81 AD. Orichalcum (the golden-colored bronze alloy) seal box cover depicting in high relief a magnificent portrait of the Roman Emperor Titus. Fine golden "Tiber" patina. Provenance: Acquired from the late Dr. Leo Mildenberg. Jackob Hirsch (1874-1955) Literature: Published: Nomos, Zurich, Auction 1, 6th May 2009, lot 144
Publication: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/354799276865970190/
The oval Victory sealbox :
Description:
 Seal box oval ; on the cover , the top of a folded shape towards the upper side window terrain apparently molded : Victory advancing to the left , holding a crown.
Material: bronze
Suggested chronology: 80 / 150 AD
 
Occurences:
1: London, silts of the Thames (UK); London, British Museum, inv. PE 95.5-24.1 ; Notes 2, p. 167
2: Paris* [75] (FR), Cabinet des Médailles de la BnF, ht. 30mm (Babelon, Blanchet 1895, p. 581, n°1438) (dessin)
 
Bibliography:
                Babelon, Blanchet 1895: E. Babelon, J.-A. Blanchet, Catalogue des bronzes antiques de la Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris 1895. télécharger Acheter
Publication  Artefacts fr.
http://artefacts.mom.fr/en/result.php?id...mode=vign#

http://www.ukdfd.co.uk/pages/roman-seal-boxes.html


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Radostin Kolchev
(Adlocutio Cohortium)
http://legio-iiii-scythica.com/index.php/en/
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#2
Good reasearch on s little-known artifact.
Thank you, Rado. Wink
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
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#3
These are my initial models of Imperial Seal Boxes ready finished on brass .Dimensions by archeology are in a wide range. Тhese are members of the Flavian dynasty 23mm,25mm,30 mm, 35mm, 38mm,40mm. Тogether with image of Victory.Of course, I can depict many other images of almost all Roman emperors and their wives on the lid of seal box,for me this will be a pleasant task .

The hinge is mounted monolithically only in one part on the lid. The other should be tightened by knocking around the axis. This complicates the production of wax models. There are prerequisites for complications in the brass metal casting process and subsequently the cleaning and polishing surface.
I think now, after making the fittings, I understand why the ancient masters have chosen this complicated suspension method….


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Radostin Kolchev
(Adlocutio Cohortium)
http://legio-iiii-scythica.com/index.php/en/
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#4
My implemented Imperial Seal Boxes model together with my favorite image of Victory finished on brass. From this model I have made 3 different models .The three lids I made them with different Victory, very similar but they are still different.
The sides and the bottom have the typical slots and holes that are commonly associated with seal boxes.


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Radostin Kolchev
(Adlocutio Cohortium)
http://legio-iiii-scythica.com/index.php/en/
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#5
What were seal boxes?
That question has been raised more in recent years due to the fact that there still remains very little clear evidence as to their exact use.The major theory at this point is that they were used to seal the string of a bound writing tablet.  Whereby the stings of the item were fed into the holes and sides eventually tied inside the hollowed area.Wax was then poured onto the knot and then impressed with a seal from a ring.  This allowed the item to be secure and safely covered during transport.One seal box has been found with the remnants of the bee's wax seal still inside of it.The reason that things are not 100% defined is that in many locations very few seal boxes have been found, specifically in Pompeii.  It is believed that these seal boxes were in use more on the frontier and constituted part of the military mail system.The frontier obviously had the vast majority of soldiers, specifically the ones stations at the forts on the northern front.
Source used:
http://www.roman-artifacts.com/Military%...%20Box.htm


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Radostin Kolchev
(Adlocutio Cohortium)
http://legio-iiii-scythica.com/index.php/en/
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#6
The whole process is manual work on wax carving  and twisting. Several photos of my creative wax work.


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Radostin Kolchev
(Adlocutio Cohortium)
http://legio-iiii-scythica.com/index.php/en/
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#7
You, sir, are an artist worthy of your imperial and divine subjects. This is magnificent.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
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