AVE DOMINA

Lynda’s Seal Matrix

This is another bout of nostalgia; a feeling of pleasure and sometimes slight sadness at the same time as I think about things that happened in the past.

In the autumn of 2005, Mrs John and I prepared ourselves for a detecting foray in a Wendover field, about five miles away. When we arrived at the site and opened the car boot, it was discovered that we hadn’t packed the metal detectors.

On a morning that stared frosty anyway, the atmosphere turned even colder. I was responsible for the error, that was clear. Being a good lad, I made soothing noises and offered to go back for the machines. Luckily, home wasn’t too far away and the delay was minimal.

Wish

After I had found a seal matrix – on a previous occasion – it was on Lynda’s ‘wish list’. Bugger me. Less than fifteen minutes searching, she shouted for my attention and produced the seal matrix. shown below. I was astounded and pleased for her.

RECORDED ON PAS. Lynda’s oval copper-alloy seal matrix dating circa 14th century. JW

You will notice that the artefact shows a head in profile. The device appears to be a lady wearing a wimple or close-fitting headdress. The Latin legend, AVE DOMINA, is in mixed Lombardic and Roman style letters and probably means ‘Hello Lady’ or ‘Mistress of the God’.

Near the find spot there used to be an abbey or nunnery. Now I place my arkie fedora at a crooked angle and proclaim: ”What Lynda found is the personal seal of the Mother Superior.” Enlarge on this, Daily Mail!


Watch this Space

A few weeks ago I posted one of Lynda’s finds on FaceCrap and it was very well received. For those who didn’t see it, here it is again . . .

Mrs. John and I don’t detect anymore, but we have some memorable finds. Here’s one we haven’t shown before and I love it! The inscription says: ST.PAULS CE SCHOOL: CHURCH WARDENS PRIZE: 1908: GRACE E. MITCHELL. The watch was found in Firle, near Brighton – where there is a school of the same name. I might give them a buzz.


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