Pendant Seals

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Seals, Pendant


a type of seal most commonly associated with medieval documents. Pendant seals were impressed in wax, lead, gold, or silver and were suspended on cords from documents.

The term “bulla” refers to metal pendant seals, but in the sources it sometimes also designates wax ones. In sphragistics, lead pendant seals are called molybdobulls. Gold pendant seals are known as chrysobulls. Pendant seals were first used in Rome at the end of the fourth century. They were widely used throughout Western Europe, Byzantium, and Russia (from the 11th century to the end of the 15th). Pendant seals are still used in the Vatican.

Ancient Russian pendant seals have been found primarily in Novgorod, where archaeological excavations have led to the discovery of many that belonged to the posadniki (governors of medieval Russian city-states), tysiatskie (commanders of the militia, Novgorod’s second highest officials), princes, archbishops, namestniki (vicegerents), and stewards (tiuny).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Included in the exhibit are early pendant seals, oversize versions of the Great Seal that were attached to treaties to give them more gravitas than its smaller version.
Another allows visitors to rub a pendant seal replica.