A complete copper alloy lozenge-shaped seal box lid. The upper face of the lid has a raised grid design with 25 separate square cells. Four of the cells have enamel still intact, the remaining cells still have traces of enamel in place. There are two contrasting enamel colours, light blue and dark green. The seal box lid has a hinge mechanism for the opening and closing of the box at the top and slightly protruding knop at the bottom.


Seal boxes with hinged lids were used as a simple form of security during the transportation of written messages or packages. The base of the box (not present here) was probably fixed to the package by means of a cord passing through the holes which are usually present in the base of the seal boxes. On either the base or the lid there is usually a small slot for another cord to pass through, which would then be placed around the receptacle to be secured. The cord would have then been tied in a knot within the seal box itself and held in place by wax stamped with a seal (possibly from a ring intaglio). Once this had been done it would have been impossible to remove the cord without breaking the seal.


References: Nigel Mills, ’Celtic & Roman Artefacts’, RB298; Richard Hattatt, ’Ancient Brooches and Other Artefacts, Nos. 159 and 160.