Victorian Desk Seal Breaker
In the 19th and 20th century a letter or correspondence would be folded and sealed with a wax seal, in order to protect against the unwanted opening of the letter, and to sometimes show from whom it came. This would require a block of hard sealing wax and a hand held seal to make the impression. Desk seals were plentiful during this time, and were a necessary accessory to any desk. The handle would be made from various materials, such as wood, silver, ivory, agate or mother of pearl. The stamper was usually made from brass or steel and would either have a hatched design or an engraved crest, or initials of the owner. A block of sealing wax would be held over a flame and melted onto the folded letter or envelope and then the seal would be pressed into the hot wax to leave its mark, when cooled this would act as a seal until opened by the recipient. Another necessity for a desk in the 19th century, would be a seal breaker, this was a steel blade sharpened at both ends and would be pushed under the wax seal to break it and give access to the correspondance.
This seal breaker has a bone handle and would be a part of a middle to high income household.
Dimensions: 16cm long