UKRAINE, Kievan Rus'
    In the national mythos of Russia, the birth of the nation, so to speak, occurred in the 10th century, and, in one of those delicious (to me) ironies, that birth was in what is now in the independent, non-Russian, somewhat Russophobic nation of Ukraine.  The capital of that political entity was Kiev, and it is known today as Kievan Rus', where that apostrophe stands for a cyrillic silent letter.

    In the ancient and medieval world seals abounded.  Documents were attested with seals.  Wine casks were sealed.  Scales were sealed. Warehouses were sealed.  Lots of stuff.  Seals were applied to clay, wax, and lead mostly.  Obviously lead seals have survived in greatest numbers.
    In Kievan Rus', which was sub-Byzantine in heritage, there was a parallel administration: church and civic.  Church seals always had churchly subjects.  Civic seals had religious iconography too, but also had the name and sometimes the place of the issuer.  Civic seals are today scarcer by far than the churchies.
    Some documentary seals were meant to be shown and did not "lock" the document.  In modern usage such things were like the gold foil doodad at the bottom of the words on a diploma.  Other seals truly "sealed" the thing: wine cask, official message, etc.  In that usage the seal had to be cut to get at the thing inside.  Pieces of old seals are, thus, more common than complete ones.

UKRS-1) UKRAINE, KIEVAN RUS', c. 900-1300, 20mm ecclesiatic lead seal, Jesus standing facing / saint standing facing, VF $65.00 sold
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UKRS-2) UKRAINE, KIEVAN RUS', c. 900-1300, lot of ecclesiastic lead seal fragments, largest is 22x15mm, smallest is 8x13mm, the seals were of course broken when the sealed object was opened, so this is the normal condition in which they are found, 4 pcs, VF $55.00 sold
Click picture for enlargement.

UKRS-3) UKRAINE, KIEVAN RUS', c. 900-1300, 24x22mm oval civic lead seal,  bust of Jesus? facing / legend in (at least) 4 lines.  We can read some of it but we can't pull a name out.  When you do you will have an exceedingly rare & valuable (relatively speaking) piece.  Couple of gashes rev., VF $135.00 sold
Click picture for enlargement.

Bob Reis
POB 26303
Raleigh NC 27611USA
phone: (919) 787-0881
(8:30AM-10:30PM EST only please)
fax: (888) 503-8308
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