Seal matrix of the Tabellionage of Rambervillers; Châtellenie of the Bishopric of Metz

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Object Description

This superb, ornately engraved seal displays the hand of God reaching down from the heavens, with Saint Stephen at prayer garbed in liturgical vestments which the artist renders with great care and attention, the sleeves and hems draping carefully around the body. The field is incised with rinceaux motifs of flowering vines.
Directly above the saint’s nimbus, a small cross indicates the beginning legend’s text. Flowing clockwise, the seal reads: SIGILLIUM OFFICII TABELLIONATUS OPIDI RAMBERTIVILLARI (Seal of the office of the Tabellionage of the town of Rambevillers), incised in gothic minuscule.

Object History

The Tabellon was the senior legal official in Rambevillers of thebishop of Metz, under whose civil jusrisdiction the small, but strategically imporrtant town fell. The grandeur of the seal and the number of medieval defensive fortifications recorded around the city indicate the value the bishop placed on this township. This seal demonstrated both the secular and liturgical roles the bishop played in the administration and the important interrelationship between town and bishop. It acts as a relic of the unique medieval governing structure of Lorraine.

The Abbé de Jobal (1741 – 1806) acquired by him before 1781 when he left France to settle in Martinique.
Count Gaston de Lambertye (1832 – 1907)

Object Literature

Bulletin de la Société d’archéologie et d’histoire de la Moselle, 1865, Huitième année, page 105, n°X

Object Condition

Very good.

Object Details

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