Difference between revisions of "Seal tags"

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A '''seal tag''' was an early anti-tampering device, used to defend against unauthorized additions to official documents in [[period]].
One of the major uses of [[parchment]] in period was for important legal documents (eg grants of property from the [[king]] to a subject).
 
   
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A seal tag is actually quite simple; when a document is completed, the excess parchment at the bottom of the page was folded up. A hole was punched in the parchment and a seal tag (a string, a piece of finger-loop or other braid, a spare strip of parchment or a strip of [[leather]]) was threaded through the whole and secured with [[wax]], which was then given the impression from a [[seal]].
How do you make sure that no-one adds extra items onto your doccument, falsifying ownership of more than you gave them?
 
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This marked the end of the document and made it impossible to alter without breaking the seal and removing the seal tag. However, because parchment remained below the fold, later additions could still be added; such additions would require the document to be re-sealed afterwards.
   
'''Seal tags''' were one such way. The excess parchment at the bottom of a doccument that hadn't been written on is folded up. You punch a hole in the parchement and tie a seal tag (a string eg a piece of fingerloop or other braid, a spare strip of parchment or a strip of [[leather]]) through the holes securing the spare parchment. You then melt [[wax]] over this tag and press you [[seal]] into the [[wax]]. Anyone who wants to add a few lines to the bottom of the [[parchment]] will now have to break the wax to get to the parchment. Should they do so they will be unable reseal it without the owner's personal seal.
 
 
[[category:artefact (medieval)]]
 
[[category:artefact (medieval)]]

Revision as of 02:31, 23 July 2008

A seal tag was an early anti-tampering device, used to defend against unauthorized additions to official documents in period.

A seal tag is actually quite simple; when a document is completed, the excess parchment at the bottom of the page was folded up. A hole was punched in the parchment and a seal tag (a string, a piece of finger-loop or other braid, a spare strip of parchment or a strip of leather) was threaded through the whole and secured with wax, which was then given the impression from a seal.

This marked the end of the document and made it impossible to alter without breaking the seal and removing the seal tag. However, because parchment remained below the fold, later additions could still be added; such additions would require the document to be re-sealed afterwards.