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 Mabillonin late 17th century and by Johann Michael Heinecciussoon 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'Arcqand Germain Demay.Fact|date=February 2007
Sigillography is also a subdiscipline of
ByzantineStudies, involving the study of Byzantine lead seal impressions and the text and images thereon.
Herge's " The Adventures of Tintin" adventures, " King Ottokar's Sceptre" features sigillography in its plot.
* http://linnet.cch.kcl.ac.uk:8080/seals/ (database of Byzantine Seal impressions from "Prosopography of the Byzantine World project (PBW)
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