Medieval Ship Wax Seal… How old is old?

Could this ship wax seal really date back to medieval times?  I just had to know, so that meant time to research!  I decidedly did not count the many, many hours of research because I’m fully aware they could have been spent being productive in more important ways… depending on ones definition of “important!”  And I’m not finished… the more I learn, the more there is to learn!
Although my small collection of medieval seals were not listed with the British Museum, I learned much about them from similar findings documented by others!
The medieval bateau (French for ship) seal matrix, with a suspension loop on the back side, perhaps to be worn as a pendant, dates back to the French “monnaie feodale” period in medieval Europe, that flourished between the 9th – 15th centuries and this wax seal likely dates to the 1400 – 1500’s!  The wax seal, very rustic in its engraving and now very patinated due to its age and exposure to the elements, depicts a single masted ship, without sails, on the waves.  It is surrounded by a thin oval line and legend of letters, likely Latin, but I cannot decipher their message and meaning.  I do know that the legend begins at the 12 o’clock position and on this matrix, the top of the mast cross marks that place.  This is usually followed by an S, an abbreviation for “sigillum” or “the seal.”  The legend could be personal, with the name and title of the owner following the S, or it could state the ships name, perhaps followed by a motto or place name.
Designs of ships on personal seals were quite rare in medieval times.  Here, the vivid planks of the hull are centered on the oval seal, riding waves below the hull and the mast without sails above, with two pairs of ropes suspended from the cross of the rigging to either side of the mast.   There is a pennant flying at the top of the cross mast which marks the beginning of the legend that surrounds the edge of the matrix.
The cross mast may have been a symbol during the times when Christians needed to disguise the cross since the mast without sails depicts a cross. This ship style is likely a merchant or cargo ship, perhaps a buza or longship with its one square sail constructed for speed.  In heraldry, the ship symbolizes ancient sea voyages.
I adore the rustic engraving of the original seal, since it appears almost abstract, and I love its translation to the fine silver wax seal charm.  The rustic cross earrings were made by stamping just the mast portion of the ship.
History made wearable!

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