four leaf clover wax seal necklace - medieval wax seal jewelry
A lucky find, a rustic medieval four leaf clover wax seal necklace pendant. Wonderful historic wax seal jewelry!
The four leaf clover quatrefoil is surrounded by the French legend which reads *IE SV SEL D AM but this sentiment is incomplete, likely because the engraver abbreviated or ran out of space - both common in those days.
The complete inscription should have read *IE SV SEL D AMI LEL which translates I AM A TRUE FRIEND/LOVER.
However, there is much ambiguity with this medieval seal since we don't know with certainty what letters are missing and where the spacing between the letters should be. Read to the bottom if you are curious!
“A best friend is like a four leaf clover ... hard to find and lucky to have!”
- symbolism -
Legend has it that each leaf on a four leaf clover represents something different ... the first is for hope, the second is for faith, the third is for love and the fourth is for luck.
In heraldry, the quatrefoil brings good tidings.
- approximate measurement - 3/4” (20mm)
- wax seal charm metal - sterling silver (.925 silver)
- photographed with an old US dime for scale
- chain - a sterling silver cable chain with a spring ring clasp
- select the necklace chain length or just the charm at checkout
Hand crafted from a 14th century Medieval bronze chessman seal with a pierced trefoil terminal and a collar of three ridges that dates back to the 1300 - 1400’s.
You can see a larger 1" version of this seal in my etsy shop, here. See the last photo for the size comparison.
Find more shamrock and four leaf clover wax seal necklaces here.
What I do know about this seal:
The seal is a 14th century Medieval bronze chessman seal with a pierced trefoil terminal and a collar of three ridges that dates back to the 1300 - 1400’s.
The four leaf clover or herb paris is surrounded by the French inscription *IESVSELDAM but it seems to be incomplete because the engraver abbreviated or ran out of space.
What I don't know:
Where the spacing between the letters should be and what letters are missing.
- the spacing could be *IESVS EL D'AM and the missing letters could be OR.
*IESVS EL D'AMOR translates JESUS IS MY LOVE.
- same letters, the spacing could also be *IE SV SEL D AM, where the engraver ran out of space for the I LEL.
*IE SV SEL D AMI LEL translates I AM A TRUE/FAITHFUL FRIEND/LOVER. similar to the common French sentiment JE SU SEL D'AMOUR and remember, back then U was written as V
- both of these sentiments do exist and have been identified surrounding the four leaf clover imagery on medieval seals.
Malcolm Jones has pointed out that inscriptions starting IE SV (I AM in French) benefit from ‘amuletic ambiguity’ because they can also be read as starting JESU, invoking the name of Jesus.
To complicate further, that four leaf clover could actually be Paris quadrifolia (meaning four leaves) or herb Paris, which is known as true love or true lovers knot with its four leaves paired like lovers because it bears a resemblance to the loops of the true lover's knot. This also makes sense if the legend reads this way - *IE SV SEL D AMI LEL meaning I AM A FAITHFUL LOVER.
Impressed with history!