font-awesome-load
material-design-icons-load

Seals

Animals and Names

Animals constitute multiple pictorial themes on seals, often as military symbols of power, such as the eagle, the wolf or the lion. Frequently, the animal depicted on the seal is a symbol that refers to the name of the seal bearer, such as the seal of Fasonotto da Capraia, on which a pheasant (fagiano) is represented in fine detail. The seal of Bonifacio Lupi twice portrays a wolf: once as a crest with the wolf’s head in profile and again as a rampant wolf on the shield below. This heraldic device is also represented multiple times on the façade and in the interior of the oratory of San Giorgio in Padua, whose decorative cycle was brought to completion by Bonifacio dei Lupi himself. Animals had a very close relationship to words and language in the conceptual imagination of the Middle Ages, and Adam’s naming of the animals in Paradise was already generally linked to the origin of language by Isidore of Seville in the seventh century. The relationship between animals and names is evident on seals, where the name of the owner of the seal appears in the surrounding legend. It is also discernible in the seal of the commune of Camigliano, which had been under the dominion of Siena since 1212, where a single-humped camel is represented in front of a shaded background. The seal matrix of the Part Guelfa of Florence portrays a powerful three-dimensional eagle with outstretched wings on the reverse, which transforms itself into a relief on the obverse. As a final example, the brass protective box, which preserves an impression of the seal of Francesco Sforza, the lion as the king of animals is engraved on the inside, which shields the fragile waxen seal impression of the most famous condottiere of Mantua, while the outside of the seal box displays just as the seal itself the Sforza coat of
arms.


Seal of Fasanotto da Copario (matrix), late 13th/early 14th century, bronze, 33 mm (Florence, Bargello, inv. no. 821)

Seal of Bonifacio dei Lupi (matrix, obverse), 2nd quarter of the 14th century, bronze, 35 mm (Florence, Bargello, inv. no. 944)

Seal of Bonifacio dei Lupi (matrix, reverse), 2nd quarter of the century, bronze, 35 mm (Florence, Bargello, inv. no. 944)

Seal of the commune of Camigliano (matrix), 14th century, bronze, 37 mm (Florence, Bargello, inv. no. 413)

Seal of the Parte Guelfa of Florence (matrix, obverse), mid-15th century, silver, 60 mm (Florence, Bargello, inv. no. 474)

Seal of the Parte Guelfa of Florence (matrix, reverse), mid-15th century, silver, height 36 mm (Florence, Bargello, inv. no. 474)

Seal of the Parte Guelfa of Florence (matrix, reverse), mid-15th century, silver, height 36 mm (Florence, Bargello, inv. no. 474)

Seal of Francesco Sforza in protectiv box (impression), 1447, red wax, 56 mm, brass, 70 mm (ASFi, inv. no. 207 bis)

Protectiv box of the seal of Francesco Sforza (obverse), brass, 70 mm (ASFi, inv. no. 207 bis)

Protectiv box of the seal of Francesco Sforza (reverse), brass, 70 mm (ASFi, inv. no. 207 bis)




© KHI in Florence | 27.09.2020 12:28:49