12 December 2002
AN EARLY JEWISH BRONZE STAMP SEAL
Late Roman to Byzantine Period, Circa 4th-6th Century A.D.
The shield-shaped device with Jewish symbols in raised relief, including a large seven-branched menorah on a tripod base at the center, with a shofar to the left, and a lulav and etrog to the right
2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm) long
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Friedenberg, "The Evolution and Uses of Jewish Byzantine Stamp Seals" in The Journal of the Walters Art Gallery, vol. 52/53, 1994/1995, fig. 16.
The author/collector notes in the above publication that the shield shape for a stamp of this period is quite rare. It has been suggested that the form may simply have derived directly from the shape of the menorah. There is a similar example in the Israel Museum, also once in the collection of Leo Mildenberg (op. cit., fig. 15).
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