Wednesday, February 3, 2016

2/3/16 Report - One Of The Most Remarkable Beach Finds That I Could Ever Imagine.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Some finds are really remarkable.  The royal escudos found last summer by the Queens Jewels guys are very remarkable.  There are some finds that aren't valuable, but they are still remarkable.  I'm going to talk about one such find today.

The find I'm going to talk about isn't gold or silver or even copper, pewter or lead.  It isn't wood, glass or ceramics or mineral or stone or shell.   It isn't a coin or medallion or anything that you would really expect to find on a beach, especially not after hundreds of years.

What I am talking about is a wax seal impression - not the wax seal stamp that would be used to make an impression, but the impressed wax seal itself.

Modern Wax Impression.

Shown to the left is the type of thing I'm talking about, but that isn't the one.

Beeswax was used in the Middle Ages to seal documents, but since beeswax was flexible and could be easily removed, sealing wax was invented.

Below is a bit of the history of sealing wax.

...Government officials, particularly those engaged in clandestine operations and delicate and confidential negotiations, immediately recognized the need for a sealing material which would betray any effort made to tamper with the seal and gain access to the contents of the document it was intended to secure. It was then that the superior qualities of the new "Spanish" wax came to be highly valued. The basic formula of this new sealing compound was a blend of shellac, mastic, turpentine, chalk or gypsum, and a coloring agent, to which essential oils and/or fragrant balsams might be added to facilitate melting and impart a pleasant fragrance. This "sealing wax" could be melted to a thick viscous fluid which would readily and firmly adhere to the parchment or paper on which it was placed. While warm, it would take a clear impression of any seal that was pressed in to it. It would remain solid, even in the heat of summer, and was flexible enough to remain intact while affixed to the document on which it had been placed...

You can read more of the history of sealing wax by using the following link, which will take you to the article where I found the above information.

The wax seal impression shown below was found many years ago near Turtle Trail.  The remarkable thing is that it survived,for hundreds of years.  It is not very durable.  It must have been protected by a layer of sand for a long time.  It could not take much of a beating without crumbling.  

Wax Seal Impression From Treasure Coast Beach.
It is not easy to see the details of the impression.  I'll try to point out some of the features.  There is some sand or crust on part of it, but I can make out a little more of it than what shows in the photo.  

In the picture below I outlined one wing that shows fairly clearly.

Eagle Wind Outlined In Red.
To the left of the wing you might be able to see the breast and thighs of the eagle.  I outlined those in the picture below.

In the picture below you can not see the head at all, but I outlined it too.

The other wing is covered by encrustation.

Eagle Body And Thighs Outlined In Red
At about the ten o'clock and seven o'clock positions some of wax broke off of the perimeter.

You can see how the wax flowed out around the edges of the seal very much like the picture of the red seal above.

I wish that more details were visible, but for me it is enough of a miracle that it survived hundreds of years before being found.  I can't think of any kind of find that would amaze me any more.


We have a south wind today and about a two foot surf.  We'll have a small surf for several days.  Not much of a tide either.

Happy hunting,