On this occasion, unusually, Montague even sent his own matrix so that Gilbert could seal the letter and make it seem previously unread. A seal was made by pressing a seal matrix onto freshly-applied hot wax before it set, in order to leave an impression in it. Never leave unattended. Never leave melts sitting with candle going with out intended immediate use. Seals were a good way to leave a signature in a time when illiteracy was widespread, and could contain an initial or just a small picture. Most of these early uses were not to seal an envelope, the most common way wax seals are thought of, but to affix a signature to a document. Because I’m full of ideas, and pretty thrifty as well, I thought I’d try using some items I had on hand to see if I could create a similar wax seal effect. I like to use glitter to jazz up special items like these Christmas cards but that is optional.
Use the spoon to pour a small dime sized amount onto area you want. Place the mold in a clean, level area to cool, and use a toothpick to adjust the position of the wicks if necessary. Get in on this great new (old) trend, and read on to learn more about wax seals, and all the great ways you can use them! Unsealed enclosures might be read by the recipient of the enclosing letter before he or she sealed and resent them to their second, intended, recipient. Once the envelope is opened the wax seal would crack and break, and one could easily tell if a letter they received had been read. Letters were expensive to send, and using a wax seal allowed the sender to fold up the written page and close with wax, eliminating the extra cost of an envelope. It was a way to preserve the confidentiality of documents and confirm that they had been indeed written by the sender. Although again, red was also just as likely to be used, if the sender had no green. Harking back to the days of traditional calligraphy, the set features one stick of red wax and a wooden handled stamp for imprinting your chosen initial.
Physical features like this can also provide clues to resolving issues for historians: Akkerman was able to date several letters after November 1632 in her edition because of the black sealing wax. Using seals can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia when clay was pressed with engraved cylinders to authenticate the tablets. By the Renaissance, the language and imagery of the ancient technology of wax sealing were well-established resources for expressing sexual activities such as kissing, deflowering and impregnating. Sexual metaphors are not always present in references to seals, of course, but the rich vein of imagery in the period is highly indicative of the symbolism of the seal. This put white-sealed letters into a higher category of importance — not as high as (correctly used) red seals, but something more than your average green or blue. In the formulas for the highest quality sealing waxes, the red color was derived from vermilion, also known as cinnabar.
Sending a wax-sealed letter has a sophisticated, nostalgic quality to it. I have pulled seals off with a warm letter opener, or knife. Scissors or a sharp knife works easily. Two shows at the Hessel Museum of Art in the Hudson Valley highlight the intimacy of works on paper and the under-examined “Pattern and Decoration” movement. 2. Use the lighter to melt the crayon and drip it onto the paper or envelope. Normally Elizabeth would use an imprint of her shield of arms, but occasionally her letters bore a second seal with an imprint of her monogram. Akkerman surmised that two seals meant the letter had been opened, amended and shut again, and would ‘indicate to the recipient that it was Elizabeth who tampered with the letter and not someone else who had spied upon it’. Editing Elizabeth of Bohemia’s letters, Akkerman sometimes found two broken seals, each with a different stamp. In addition to these iconographic and symbolic functions, seals, of course, served a very practical security purpose. We are talking about wax seals, and they are experiencing a surge in popularity right now. Pull the seal off and you are left with an amazing custom wax imprint!
The wax seal stamper should be oiled before each use. They can be hot glued in place where ever you choose to use them. Should you receive a damaged or incorrectly dispatched item, please inform us within 7 days of receipt, so we can advise you on the return of the item. J. Herbin and Atelier Gargoyle offer a variety of wax colors, so that you can find the hue that really represents you. Shop our selection of sealing wax from J. Herbin and Atelier Gargoyle, letter wax available in 40 color choices. Many envelopes were sold alongside sealing wax in the 19th century, and this trend continued until envelopes containing adhesive became the standard. In the 19th century, sealing wax was a material made by the melting of lac or rosin with turpentine and pigments. Cut Glue sticks into small chunks for melting in a warmer. Tip: When using a glue gun, make sure it’s dedicated to only wax and not mixed with glue. I like to make extra stamps on sheets of parchment.