Royal Seal of Joseph I of Austria (1705-1711)

J.L writes: I know you do not collect Royal wax seals, but can you help me determine who this seal may have belonged to? It reads as follows:

** Iosephvs d gel roimp semp avg Germania Hvngaria Bohemia 7C Rex Archid AVSI LVX BVR Zc CotyR CZ. It is a red seal, approx 4″ diameter with a natural wax ring. It has silk cording which fastends the seal to a wood piece. The whole item is encased in a round wooden box with a glass front. Also any web sites you might direct me to would be most appreciated.

You have a seal of Joseph I of Austria (1705-1711). It is usual fare for rulers to insert all of their titles on coins and seals. Latin was the international language and an abbreviated code developed over time to accommodate ruler’s titles. Your seal reads:

Iosephus DG Ro Imp Semp Avg Germania, Hvungaria, Bohemia Rex Archid Avsi Lux Bvr…….
Roughly translated: Joseph, by the grace of G-d, King of the Romans (refers to the Holy Roman Empire which all the rulers in Europe claimed title.), King of the Germans, Hungary, Bohemia, Archduke of Austria, Bavaria etc…etc…etc.

I can’t tell you whether your seal is authentic or a copy (sometimes copies were made for decoration in the 19th and even in the 20th century) but only what the seal represents.