Typology of Sealed Documents

Wax seal impression attached to document.
Lead bull attached to a document with cords.
Wax seal impression attached to a document with silk cords.
Wax seal impression attached to a document with a parchment tag.

The vast majority of seals surviving are attached to the documents that they validated. These impressions of wax or metal (the latter called bulls) could be either applied on or attached to the document. These attachments could be tags of parchment or paper as well as textile cords made of silk, hemp or linen. For the preservation and conservation of a sealed document one has to take into account all its components: document, attachment and seal and to consider the variety of their materiality (parchment, paper, textiles, metal, wax).