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Man with beard and wings, angel with trumpet flying overhead, on cover of 'Richard Rawlinson & His Seal Matrices, Collecting in the Early Eighteenth Century', by Ashmolean Museum.

Richard Rawlinson & His Seal Matrices

Collecting in the Early Eighteenth Century

By (author) John Cherry


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  • The very latest in research on the Rawlinson Seals in the Ashmolean Museum; indispensible both for the specialist and the general reader
  • Previously unpublished data. All new colour photography
Full Description

The Rawlinson collection of seal matrices in the University of Oxford is the most important early collection of European seal matrices to survive. Created by Dr Richard Rawlinson (1690-1755) in the first half of the eighteenth century, it consists of 830 matrices ranging in date from the 13th to the early 18th century. It includes the collection of seal matrices formed by Giovanni Andrea Lorenzani, a Roman bronze caster, which Rawlinson acquired in Rome together with a catalogue written in 1708.

This collection is primarily Italian, but the Rawlinson collection also includes examples from many other countries England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany Spain, and Scandinavia as well as Italy. The study of seals was much neglected in the middle of the twentieth century, but the study now attracts greater interest. This is due to their visual appeal, sense of identity and their representation of symbols. This book will appeal to a wide variety of readers from those interested in collecting, Jacobitism, history of the early eighteenth century, the Grand Tour, antiquaries, and seals and seal matrices. This book has four introductory chapters which set the scene for the collecting of seal matrices, tell the life of Richard Rawlinson and Giovanni Andrea Lorenzani, analyse their collections and relate the history of the collection after Rawlinson’s death in 1755. One hundred seals, all illustrated, are described in detail, with much unpublished data, and an indication is given of the contribution they make to the sigillography of the different countries.

About the Author

John Cherry is one of the UK's leading sigillographers.

Ashmolean Museum
15th Jun 2016
World excluding Australasia
283 mm x 229 mm
192 Pages
130 color, 10 b&w
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