Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wax Seals

Looking through my writing desk you will find no shortage of seals, personal, seasonal or otherwise. During my time in Japan I had at least a dozen of them made, but they are all for use with ink rather than sealing wax. I have always thought of the wax type as stylish and sort of dapper, wanting one for a long time.

The first of these seals I considered buying was one I saw on Ward Dunham’s website, Atalier Gargoyle, San Francisco. I saw two or three I liked, but the one of a lowercase Gothic alphabet in a circle especially intrigued me. Several times I started to order this wax seal, then stopped myself, thinking again of the price. A very beautiful seal, but expensive.

Recently I got something from Brian Goulet at and it included a note from Brian with a wax seal in the shape of a ‘G.’ I thought about ordering one of these seals with a personal initial, then decided to look around and see what else is out there.

I found a company online that offered what looked to be interesting wax seals, all of them at a reasonable price. I chose one and placed an order. Big, big mistake. The ordering process was simple enough, and the delivery was prompt, the items well packaged, but both seal and sealing wax were a huge disappointment. Disappointment so complete I have still, after five or six attempts, been unable to get a satisfactory, or even mediocre impression from the seal and sealing wax. Both came from Capricorn’s Lair in Utah. The seal is much too shallow to leave a sharp impression, and the True Vermillion (Ecclesiastical Red) sealing wax almost useless.

The seal I chose is shown in the top photo, but the two impressions are ink. The bottom image from a cheap red ink pad, the top from an expensive Japanese ink. The seal is pewter and the design is a four-point Celtic Knot. Not personal in the sense of an initial, I still like the design and its probable meaning, which may be representative of four stages in life: birth, maturity, death and afterlife. Celtic designs however, are not easy symbols to interpret.

Whatever the meaning and whatever my feeling for the Celtic Knot is, it’s all moot, because the seal and wax are inferior. I have wasted my money. Would have done better to save my money and then later order the Ward Dunham Gothic alphabet seal, and some J Herbin sealing wax from Brian Goulet.

1 comment:

  1. I like the Celtic knot, but then again I like Celtic designs. After all, my own seal is a very complicated Celtic double-dog design. I also like many of the seals at Atelier Gargoyle but $200 (yikes!!).


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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America