Name/TitleSeal matrix of Baldahildis (Bathild), Norwich Castle Museum 2000.42
About this objectThis gold seal matrix was used to make an impression on a wax seal and was originally attached to a ring. Discovered just east of Norwich, one side shows a woman's face and her name BALDAHILDIS in Frankish lettering. The other side portrays two naked figures, a man and a woman, embracing one another. In Merovingian Gaul, one side of the seal was intended to be used with official documents. The other side would have been used for private papers.
Bathilde was wife of the Merovingian king, Clovis II (r. 633–657). Some accounts suggest she was from East Anglia and was sold into slavery in Gaul where she came to the attention of Clovis. He freed her and they married in 649. After his death in 680 she ruled as regent for her sons and founded charitable and religious institutions. In her final years, she retreated to an abbey near Paris and, on her death, was canonized by the pope. How this seal came to Britain is unknown.
Subject and Association KeywordsEncounters
Medium and MaterialsGold
Measurements1.1 x 0.4 cm
Credit LineNorwich Castle Museum
Object numberEXH38: 2000.42