Sigillography (sometimes referred to under its Greek name of Sphragistics) is one of the auxiliary sciences of history. It refers to the study of seals attached to documents as a source of historical information. It concentrates on the legal and social meaning of seals, as well as evolution of their look. As such, it is closely related to heraldry.

It was first used as a separate science in the works of Jean Mabillon in late 17th century and by Johann Michael Heineccius soon afterwards.Fact|date=February 2007 Initially thought as a branch of diplomatics, it gradually became an independent branch of historical studies. In second half of 19th century sigillography was further developed by German and French historians, among them Hermann Grotefend, Otto Posse, Louis-Claude Douet d'Arcq and Germain Demay.Fact|date=February 2007

Sigillography is also a subdiscipline of Byzantine Studies, involving the study of Byzantine lead seal impressions and the text and images thereon.

One of Herge's "The Adventures of Tintin" adventures, "King Ottokar's Sceptre" features sigillography in its plot.

External links

* (database of Byzantine Seal impressions from "Prosopography of the Byzantine World project (PBW)

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