Lead seals

End of the 18th century

Museum of Ontario Archaeology

Museum of Ontario Archaeology
London, Canada

These four artifacts are lead bale (or cloth) seals. They were found in Amherstburg, Ontario, on a site excavated by the University of Windsor in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and archaeologists from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries in 2004. This artifact comes from a site that includes the home of Matthew Elliott (1739-1814), where he operated a trading post as an Agent of the British Indian Department between the end of the 18th and early 19th century. Composed of two discs, one hollowed and one riveted, joined by a strip, the cast lead was folded in half, usually with a stamp and hammer. This type of seal was very common from the 17th to the 19th century. They were placed on cloth bundles to give general information about where it came from, who made it and the rate of importation taxation. The word “LONDON” and “PACKER” can be read on one side. Two seals also have scratched numbers “38/402” on the other side.


  • Title: Lead seals
  • Date Created: End of the 18th century
  • Location: Amherstburg, Ontario
  • Type: Seal
  • Rights: Brad Phillips, Museum of Ontario Archaeology
  • Medium: Lead

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