page 17


Identifying Lead Baltic States

Quartered Cross Shield Seals




late 18th / early 19th Century


 The shield has the flat part at the

 top and is split into quarters by a

 large cross. Inside each quarter are

 pellets numbering from 0 to 9 to

  indicate the port of shipping.

 Sometimes the pellets are small circles

 which are called annulets.

 CR are the initials of the Agent.

 There are lots of different initials.

 12K means there are 12 heads of

 top quality crown flax in the bale.

 This can be 12K, 9K and 6K which

 equates to 1st, 2nd, 3rd Sort.

  6K has only been found in Denmark and

  Sweden and is thought to be 16th century



page 18

Identifying Lead Riga Port

Crossed Keys Flax Seals




late 18th / early 19th Century


The crossed keys are the Arms of the City of Riga, but also of other cities throughout Europe. To be a Riga seal there must be a + between the keys, at the top, and a number 1, 2 or 3 between the keys at the base

to indicate the grade or sort of flax.

The reverse is usually blank.

Memel used the City Arms on their own for Driebandt (Threeband) flax

and this could well be the case for Riga and other Baltic States ports.

D = Driebandt was a basic type of flax, but not as good as Fourband.

 page 19


Identifying Symbols on Seals 


 A crescent shape which are the

 flukes of an anchor wherein the

 Christians anchored their faith in

 Jesus Christ and is nothing  to do

 with Islam.  Christian symbols of

 keys and fish are common.


 T is for TAMOЖHЯ

 Customs House Tax


  Russian State

 Customs House Tax.


 Crimping pliers for

 stamping the seals.


  Stylised ship's hull



 A Padlock


page 20

Bales were shipped to the UK in trading ships, Galliots or Galeas, after the harvest in the Autumn months, to avoid the stormy Winter around the top of  Scotland.

How the seals got into the fields


   The discarded stalks of the flax with the bale seals attached were highly prized as fertilizer by farmers and were spread on the land mixed with human night soil excrement collected at the dead of night.


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