★ An exceptionally important seal from the Abbey of St. Mary of the Valley of Jehoshapha in Jerusalem ★
John, abbot of the abbey of St. Mary of the Valley of Jehoshaphat, 12th century. Seal Matrix (Lead, 31 mm, 20.91 g, 12 h). + S IOHAnNIS ABBATIS ("Seal of John, abbot"), pellets dividing the legend. Half-length bust of the abbot John raising his right hand in benediction and holding crozier in his left. Rev. + SEPVLCRVm BEATE mARIE ("Tomb of St. Mary") with pellets dividing the legend The Tomb of St. Mary flanked by two censers. Apparently unpublished. An extremely important seal of the highest historical interest. Minor breakage along the channel mouths, otherwise, very fine.
From a European collection, formed before 2005.
The Abbey of St. Mary of the Valley of Jehoshaphat was a Benedictine abbey which was built on the alleged site of the tomb of the Virgin Mary in Jerusalem, at the foot of the Mount of Olives, in the Kidron Valley, also called the Valley of Jehoshaphat. It was founded by Godfrey of Bouillon and the first monks were from his entourage. It came to be the burial place of the queens of Jerusalem, while the kings were entombed in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.