19th Century Gold Seal Ring

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Frances Miller
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19th Century Gold Seal Ring

Post by Frances Miller » Fri May 31, 2013 11:10 pm

Hello - I have joined the forum in the hope that someone might be able to identify the attached armorial. It appears on a gold seal ring which I understand dates from the early 19th century. There is no maker's mark on the ring to help with the provenance, and no motto.
I have reversed the image so that it now appears as is would on the wax. There is a strong hunting and falconry theme. The upper part of the shield, showing a falcon displayed, is engraved with small dots which I understand denotes "or". The lower part is difficult to decipher but may show a gloved hand holding arrows and reins, marked with vertical lines for "gules".
The Somerset Herald at the College of Arms has been unable to identify the supporters or the shield and I suspect that the armorial is either entirely spurious or is continental. Any help or advice much appreciated.
Thanks for your interest. Regards Frances Miller
Armorial Reversed 1_phixr.jpg
Reversed image of gold seal ring
Armorial Reversed 1_phixr.jpg (221 KiB) Viewed 5245 times

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Chas Charles-Dunne
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Re: 19th Century Gold Seal Ring

Post by Chas Charles-Dunne » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:24 pm

This has all the indications of being continental.

1 - No hallmark on the ring. Regardless of the heraldry, if it was UK made, there would be a hallmark.

2 - Gas bracket heraldry, or in this case shelf heraldry. So called because the supporters are standing on a curly line (that looks like a gas bracket), or the motto scroll, or as here on a shelf. The shelf was quite favoured in French heraldry.

3 - Part animals and people. Having just an arm and hand showing is a bit Eastern European. Poland/Lithuania or east from there.

There is no listing in Papworth. I have so far searched 'Wapenkaart', an armorial of arms of the Low Countries - nothing there.

I am currently searching 'Armorial Dubuisson' - The French armorial. It is in two volumes, some 500 odd pages with 12 shields per page. If I find nothing then it is off to Rolland's Rietstap - 216 pages with 56 shields per page!

This might take some time.
Regards

Chas Charles-Dunne

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Chas Charles-Dunne
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Re: 19th Century Gold Seal Ring

Post by Chas Charles-Dunne » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:26 pm

I have found this in the Armorial Dubuisson, for the family de Massol:

Image

Image

If this is not the same family then it must be closely related.
Regards

Chas Charles-Dunne

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Chas Charles-Dunne
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Re: 19th Century Gold Seal Ring

Post by Chas Charles-Dunne » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:56 pm

Once I had a name, I checked Rolland's Rietstap and found this:

Image

The 'Bourg' stands for Bourgogne. I cannot work out what the second word is. There is no blazon.
Regards

Chas Charles-Dunne

Frances Miller
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Re: 19th Century Gold Seal Ring

Post by Frances Miller » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:50 pm

Can't thank you enough for the time and trouble you have taken in researching the armorial on this gold ring. Your findings come just when I was beginning to think I had drawn a blank, but I now have a great deal of information with which to make further study.
I think it must be Bourg rather than Bourgogne as the second word looks like Piedmont. Both these place names relate to the Savoie region of western France. Collonge is also in this region. So with a family name and a geographical location I can press on. Thanks again. Best regards Frances Miller

Frances Miller
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Re: 19th Century Gold Seal Ring

Post by Frances Miller » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:59 pm

Forgot to say that my first thought, on being shown this ring, was that the armorial looked French. I had nothing to base this feeling on but it seems I was on the right track at the start. I will let you know if my researches progress any further. Regards Frances Miller

Frances Miller
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Re: 19th Century Gold Seal Ring

Post by Frances Miller » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:56 pm

I have made a little more progress with my research. I now know that the Bourgogne Region, in which Bourg, Piedmont and Collonges are located, was once part of the Duchy of Savoie and probably has strong ties to both Italy and Switzerland. I don't think it was ever part of the Holy Roman Empire.
A search of French heraldry websites has yielded the following names for the Massol or de Massol family:

MASSOL (FR.CH.) De Rebetz. Dont Jean, avocat général de la Cour des Comptes vers 1692, marié à Marie-Geneviève Morlot du Museau. Famille anoblie en 1706
MASSOL (FR.PF.) (202) voir les alliances de la famille Massol (205 à 207) Rebais)
MASSOL (XVI XVII)
MASSOL
Augustin, médecin né à Cassal en Italie, mort à Dijon en 1504
MASSOL Bourgogne - Au duché de Bourgogne, dont trois Conseillers au Parlement et quatre Présidents en la Chambre des Comptes
MASSOL Dijon, Bourgogne - Antoine-Bernard, chevalier, seigneur de Montmoyen, président en la Chambre des comptes de Bourgogne et Bresse
MASSOL Dijon, Bourgogne - Jean-Baptiste, président en la Chambre des comptes de Bourgogne et Bresse
MASSOL (DE)
MASSOL (DE) Antoine-Bernard
MASSOL (DE) Antoine-Bernard, chevalier seigneur de Montmoien
MASSOL (DE) France
MASSOL (DE) Jean, et Marie Geneviève Morlet de Muzeau de Garennes, sa femme
MASSOL (DE) Jean-Baptiste, président en la Chambre des comptes de Bourgogne et Bresse
MASSOL (DE) Seigneur de Collonges, de Serville
MASSOLAC N ..., avocat de Cahors
MASSOL DE REBETZ (DE)
MASSOL DE REBETZ (DE) Bourgogne (JM23242)

I think records for most of these can be found in libraries in the Cote d'Or Departement. Will have to ask French speaking friends in that part of the world to make enquiries. More work to do.
Regards Frances Miller

Frances Miller
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Re: 19th Century Gold Seal Ring

Post by Frances Miller » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:00 am

Correction to my last post. The Duchy of Savoie was indeed a constituent state of the Holy Roman Empire until 1860 when, under the terms of the Treaty of Turin, the Duchy was annexed by France. One wonders where the allegiance of the de Massol family lay. It gets more and more involved. The ring pre-dates 1860.
Frances Miller

Charles Massol
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Re: 19th Century Gold Seal Ring

Post by Charles Massol » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:55 pm

Hi,
I am absolutely sure that this coat of arms does not belong to the Massol family.
As you could noticed it is different from what you can in Rietstap, Arbaumont etc...

Massol are from Burgundy, the first to be known and the certified root of the current family is Augustin Massol married in 1487 with Jeanne Legoux and died in 1504.
He was a doctor at the "Hospice de Beaune" and was supposed to come from Casal in Piedmont (Italy) as it was written on his grave. At that time part of this region was french.
The french family Massol was supposed to be part of the Italian family Massola.
Two members of that family, Francesco and his brother Guglielmo are supposed to be Augustin's oncle and father. They were anoblished by Maximilian the 1st, and were given a different coat of arms (a golden background with a red lion handling a hammer) because they were Ambassador to the french king.
So the eagle with two heads, which is an Habsburg's symbol was probably given to the family earlier by the Emperor Friedrich.
There is still a Palazzo Mazzola in Asti (Italy) which is now the archives center for the town.
The link between the french and the italian family is not well established but the french one always said they were from Italy and during the xviii century they did some research probably through the Cardinal de Bernis, Ambassador in Rome at that time.

Frances Miller
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Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 3:52 pm

Re: 19th Century Gold Seal Ring

Post by Frances Miller » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:58 pm

Hello Charles Many thanks for your input on this subject. Family obligations mean that I have not been able to pursue my researches and perhaps this is just as well if you think "Massol" is a false lead. Maybe someone else on the forum has some ideas. Regards Frances Miller

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