Rare Ducal wax Seal impression King Richard III Duke of Gloucester c1482 Richard Third

Rare Ducal wax Seal impression King Richard III Duke of Gloucester c1482 Richard Third


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Seller: Islamique Antiques


Rare Ducal wax Seal impression King Richard III Duke of Gloucester c1482


We are pleased to offer this very rare and early wax impression of the seal of the Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III.


The original of this ducal seal that dates from 1482 is in the British Museum (please refer to image showing the seal, impression and translation of the inscription). The original seal was donated to the British Museum in 1880 by James Vickery.


This seal impression depicts a single masted ship on the sea with the mainsail charged with the arms of the Duke of Gloucester (quarterly France and England, a label of three points) with battlements fore and aft, a cresset on the prow; a standard on the stern bearing the Duke’s arms supported by a greyhound, and foliage in the field. 


The legend is within an outer border of cinquefoils, which reads:

s’: rich . duc . glouc: admiralli: angl’: i . com: dors . t soms

Which translates as:

Richard – later to become King Richard III – as Duke of Gloucester, Admiral of Dorset and Somerset


This was purchased some years ago from an antiques dealer based on the Isle of Wight.

The impression in wax is very clear and still crisp although it looks like centuries of dust have settled on the surface – it could be professionally restored/cleaned to bring out the deep red colour.


Sometime in its long history, someone has encased it in brass and added some red velvet to the base, possibly to use as a paper weight.


The brass has a lot of verdigris which could be cleaned up. 


It is interesting to note that the amount of wax used, creating a cylinder or barrel makes it quite substantial and unusual. It is 40mm deep and measures just under 80mm in diameter across the top (the border is wide outside the seal edge: the actual seal in the British Museum has a diameter of 75.5mm).


This rare and important wax seal impression weighs 380g which is a lot of wax from a time that wax was an expensive commodity.


There are some minor chips on the extremities of the wax but these do not affect the seal impression at all.



Free fully insured UK post included.

Non UK locations – please contact us for a quote.


Please have a look at our other rare and unusual art and antiques. 

Vendor Information

  • Store Name: Islamique Antiques
  • Vendor: Islamique Antiques
  • Address: Suite One
    13-15 Claremont
    BD7 1BQ
  • Phone: 07837392006
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