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The meaning of Symbols on seals



The *T* Conundrum

 Some seals have an unusual *T*

notation under the date. The

 reason for this is not clear but it

 may indicate a Customs Tax seal.




(Also T could be TAYPOГ. = TAUROGEN,

now TAURAGE a source of Lithuania flax.)


      Examples of *T*

  The range appears to be 1770 - 1786


 1786Kn02  Kuchin        361

 1786Kn08  Beleninov     111

 1786Kn09  Beleninov     111

 1786Kn12  Binkov.G      2--

 1775Cr026 Moshnikov.?   307

  IDS 215 1787 OIOYOV      --

 IDS 519 1775 --          --

 IDS 556 1770 (hemp)      --

 IDS 783 1787 (flax)      74

 WEH 1786 01  (flax)     231


ebay Cromarty Somerset Knaresborough Knaresborough Knaresborough Knareborough Thames Shore Surrey Wass
1770 hemp 1775 flax 1775 flax 1786 flax 1786 flax 1786 flax 1786 flax 1787 flax 1787 flax 1786 flax






 flax flowers

  are used to

 replace stars


The Crescent Conundrum


Some seals have an unusual

 crescent shape under the date.

It is really the bottom of an anchor

wherein the Christians anchored

 their faith in Jesus Christ..


Here are crosses with an anchor




  Cromarty anchor seals

 Cr009    1777(flax)   51
 Cr017    1797
(hemp)   95

 Cr037    1778(hemp)   17


 Wass, Easingwold & Helmsley

 WEH 1785 05 (flax)   271



     Examples of Anchor Seals

        number           name             post

 1778Kn01  Primyakin   336

 1786Kn03  Chelpanov   335

 1786Kn04  Savostin    311

 1786Kn05  Kuchin      432

 1777Cr009 Zemskoi      51

 1777Cr016 Zemskoi      51

      All the above seals are (flax)


  Cum 1787 01(flax)     25

  IDS 014 1781(hemp)     8

  IDS 037 1788(flax)    44

  IDS 076 1783(hemp)   410

  IDS 165 1778(flax)   334

  IDS 172 1785(flax)   234

  IDS 432 1779(hemp)   165

  IDS 460 1787(flax)    47

  IDS 464 1786(flax)   335

  IDS 485 1778(flax)   323

  IDS 495 1787(flax)    70

  IDS 504 1787(flax)    41

  IDS 520 1790(flax)    66

  IDS 521 1778 --       14

  IDS 522 1783 --       --

  IDS 543 1785(hemp)    --

  IDS 661 1784(hemp)    --

  IDS 672 1786(flax)    74

  IDS 732 1776(flax)   138

  IDS 758 1784(hemp)    48

  IDS 780 1780(flax)     2

  IDS 785 1792(hemp)   140

  IDS 852 1786(hemp)    --

  IDS 889 1777(flax)   308

  IDS 893 1776(flax)     2

  IDS 894 1778(hemp)   110

  IDS 961 1781(hemp)    22

  IDS 982 1807(flax)    76

  IDS 983 1781(hemp)  N382

  IDS 1005 1777(flax)  308

  IDS 1215 1786(flax)  113

  IDS 1053 1776         --

  IDS 1373 1788(flax)    7

  IDS 1378 1777(flax)  325

  IDS 1386 1784(hemp)  N415

  IDS 1533 1794(flax)  ---

    Torpoint, Cornwall

   T02   1781(hemp)    22

   T03   1781(hemp)    30

   KX02  1780(hemp)    -

    The range appears to be 1776 - 1794

IDS 893 IDS 732 Cr009 Cr016 IDS 889 IDS 1005 1778Kn01 IDS 165 IDS 485 IDS894
eBay Yorkshire Cromarty Cromarty eBay Chester Knaresborough PAS Chester PAS
1776 hemp 1776  flax 1777  flax 1777  flax 1777  flax 1777  flax 1778  flax 1778  flax 1778  flax 1778 hemp

Stars are Separators

of blocks of information.



The Star * Conundrum

Lots of seals have star on them.

They were thought to be space fillers but they are separators between blocks of information.



      Examples of Hemp Stars


  NP180?w06 ?.?o?niko   *

  NP1811w06 K.Sinyakov  *

  NP1811w09 F.Baboshin  *

  NP1811w10 L.Selin     *

  NP1811w11 I.Syromyat  *

  NP1811w12 I.Syromyat  *

  NP1811w17 I.Vlasov    *

  NP1829wS1 K.Sinyakov  *


  IDS 162 I.Syromyat    *

  IDS 490 E.Sebn'in     *


   Except when a star replaces a

  post number on the obverse of

  a seal it is always a hemp seal.

Westhouse Westhouse Westhouse Westhouse Westhouse Westhouse Westhouse Westhouse eBay PAS
180? hemp 1811 hemp 1811 hemp 1811 hemp 1811 hemp 1811 hemp 1811 hemp 1829 hemp 1817 hemp 1829 hemp
The hunts at Westhouse Mill produced these * hemp seals mostly dated 1811 which enabled this rule for hemp to be proved.







  More Christian Shapes

These seals have Christian

symbols under the date.

Keys or Fish designs

   8 Mol:2006.6 Sinyakov  ? 

  IDS 13 T.Churyatov    107

  IDS 377 K.Ivanov        ?   

  IDS 755 ?.Vavikov      10

  IDS 891 Tomilin        29

  Cr024  M.Boloshev      11

  IDS 883 I.Rastrepaev   73

  IDS 1055 ----          --








Riga flax Bale Seals with crossed keys and + , others have an X which is not strictly the Riga coat of arms.

I am speculating that the + is used by Christian dealers & the X by non Christians (perhaps Jews, of whom there were many in Riga)

 just as today's Christians use the word Christmas and the Socialist Media use the word Xmas, refusing to use the word Christ for fear

of offending Atheists and Muslims. (Then again + could be flax and X hemp)

Russian State Tax Seal with a Stylized Ship Hull

 IDS 391 St Petersburg 17*98

IDS 1047  Cheshire 17*99

IDS 1208 France 17*91




A money purse ??



 Seal with Crimping Tool

Examples of these can be seen at

  IDS 339 St Petersburg 1798

  IDS 340 St Petersburg 1762

  IDS 342 St Petersburg 1792

  IDS 464   flax seal   1786

  IDS 637 Riga          1782

  IDS 715 G.Valoban 17?? has

  a tiny set in the letter O



All Seeing Eye see Tax Seals









Miscellaneous Symbols

padlocks (secure seals)

Letters and symbols for known dates
1803 eye 1804 bell 1805 A 1806 Б 1807 B 1808 Г 1809 Д 1810 E

The Crossed Anchor and Grapnel of Sea & River Ports


with an additional Anchor symbol and a belaying pin for a sailing ship's rigging. (Archangel Port).


The meaning of the circle symbol (O)

between the bows of the anchor and

grapnel of this St Petersburg River &

 Sea Port seal is unknown at present.

 It could be an abbreviation of..

Obertsolnery .. Chief Customs Officers

or Oblast ..  an administrative division.

A 1793 St Petersburg River and Sea Port Seal with an O symbol





The Caduceus of Hermes

        The Caduceus is the winged staff of the messenger god Hermes who was the patron of trade & journeys. A suitable logo for companies shipping trade goods overseas as in the many who traded flax and hemp from Russia. 

Many buildings in St Petersburg have a

protective Caduceus on their facade.






Seal Crimping Tools


   These are old brass crimping pliers for seals .. they have two hard faced interchangeable dies .. one fitted in each side.

 Each flax inspector had their own die and each Grower/Owner/Agent had their own die positioned on opposite sides of the pliers ..

Both dies were removable and interchangeable

Seal Crimping Tongs in Lakenhal Museum in Lieden


Oddities of Cyrillic Letters





































































     Ь is an apostrophe '             Ъ is usually found at the end of a name

In Old Russian a T

may have 3 vertical

lines making it look

more like an M



In Old Russian this letter is used in place of the Cyrillic У which is the letter U in English (Latin)


An Ю rotated vertically

is used as a symbol for

the Russian State Arms

 on Customs tax seals.


 When two or more letters are joined together they are called a ligature.

HF    HP




 The History of the Cyrillic Alphabet

    The Cyrillic alphabet owes its name to the 9th century Byzantine missionary St. Cyril, who, along with his brother, Methodius, created the first Slavic alphabet—the Glagolithic—in order to translate Greek religious text to Slavic. It is on the basis of this alphabet that the Cyrillic alphabet was developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD Learn_Russianby the followers of the brothers, who were beatified as saints.  Based on the Greek ceremonial script, the original Cyrillic alphabet included the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet and 19 letters for sounds specific to the Slavic language.

The Cyrillic alphabet has gone through many reforms in both Russia and other countries. In Russia, the first reformer of the Cyrillic was printer and publisher Ivan Fyodorov. He eliminated the letters Е and С and many forms of the letter О. Most reforms saw the number of letters decrease and the simplicity of their inscription increase. But the reverse has also happened: at the end of 18th century the Russian writer and historian Nikolay Karamzin suggested to introduce the letter Ё. Letters Э and Й were officially added to the alphabet in 18th century.     The Cyrillic alphabet achieved its current form in 1708 during the reign of Peter the Great. He introduced lower case characters (before all letters were written with capital letters) and mandated the use of westernized letter forms, making the modern Cyrillic similar to the modern Latin font.    The very existence of the Cyrillic alphabet in Russia was once under threat. In 1919 there was an idea to replace it with the Latin one and bring it into harmony with the alphabet used in Western countries. That could have made the process of learning Russian much easier for some, but this was not to be and we can still enjoy the masterpieces of Russian literature in their original script.    Today Cyrillic is the third official script of the European Union, following the Latin and Greek scripts. It is used in over 50 different languages, especially those of Slavic origin, mainly in Russia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. In Russia the Old Slavic language, which uses the Cyrillic alphabet has been historically used for religious services, and is sometimes used for these purposes today. The modern Russian alphabet differs from its forefather dramatically, and only experts will be able to tell how the letters of the original Cyrillic alphabet looked like and were read in texts using it.      Courtesy of RT.News

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