WMA 8855

Medieval. Bronze Stamper Seal Matrix. An elaborate bronze stamper type seal matrix. Inscribed S' IOH'IS DE MORLEY HOS (Seal of John de Morley, Usher). The design in the centre consists of a shield of arms, set on a tressure of three Gothic arches with tracery, alternating with three plain arches. The shield depicts two buckled straps* in saltire, with a star in each of the four angles, heraldically: In saltire between four mullets, two straps buckled. 18.3g. Circa 14th century. East Yorkshire. 24 mm diameter, 27 mm high. Suspension loop is incomplete.

In the Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases, the post of 'hostiarius' is described thus: Ostiarius [hostiarius] Usher or doorkeeper, usually of minor orders. By the late 13c, the ostiarius had become a member of the hanaper - responsible for rendering accounts - where he was next below the controller, himself next below the chancellor. The arms are most likely those of the abbey, priory or other religious house where John de Morley held the post of usher.


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