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 doccuments (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 parchement will now have to break the wax to get to the parchement, and they won't be able to reseal it with your personal seal that proves it was written by you.
 
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[[category:artefact (medieval)]]

Latest revision as of 10:38, 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.