Sealing wax actually originated when envelopes did not come with glue on the flap, making them difficult to seal and thus ensure privacy. To solve this problem, a lit candle was tipped over the envelope, allowing a few drops of wax to fall on the flap’s side and that was stamped with an inscribed initial or design, which was called a seal.
In those days long ago, this was a method used to ensure that the communication sent was secure and authentic. Seals were first and primarily used by kings and governments. New laws and proclamations required the authoritative stamp of a seal, always impressed with a personal picture or design – an initial, a coat of arms or the like. The seal served as a stamp of indisputable authenticity, just as a signature is accepted in the world today.
During Medieval times, almost everyone had their own seal, because it was an acceptable signature as many were illiterate.
But, along came gummed envelopes and eventually self sealing envelopes and people gave up sealing wax. However, it has seen a resurgance of late as people embrace the past… and the romance of it; Letter writing is making a comeback in the tech age, as are letter “seals”.
Karen Preston started LetterSeals in 1997. Since the sites first moments online, LetterSeals has grown, partnering with top wax and seal creators from around the globe. Karen admits “All of us have been striving to keep alive the traditional waxes and methods, as well as inventing and embracing new methods and materials. “
“I started LetterSeals while in college, trying out this ‘new internet idea’ in the 1990’s. Since then, we have grown to tie in fellow businesses and makers from around the globe who fit along our model of crafted & curated quality artisanal items. I am excited to continue to branch out the line and introduce new patterns and items to our customers.”
To get this thing off the ground and help grow the business, she hired top-of-the-line employees: her parents. “Erik & Cheryl are an integral part of LetterSeals. Not only are they my parents, they help out on a daily basis to meet customer orders and creations.”
Cheryl packages all of our shipments, as well as hand pours & cuts all of our glue gun sealing waxes. Her early hours getting shipments ready for the post are the cornerstone to our service commitment.
Erik creates all of our custom seals, as well as our made-to-order seal lines. He works all hours in his shop, designing, engraving, and polishing customer creations – all to be sent around the world.
The choices for seals are seemingly infinite… as the ready-made choices are extensive; Monograms, numbers, initials, words, and a multitude of themes: hearts, love, wedding… Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, music, science, nautical to highlight a few….and then there is custom !
Just perusing the website is magical.
The site is very user friendly and engaging. If you love the idea of a seal, but don’t know what you want, or what kind of wax to go with it or what you want to do with it… letters, book markings, food packaging, (there are different waxes for each), there is a questionnaire to help you narrow it all down. They will walk you through all of it. There are also tutorials on how to use sealing wax.
LetterSeals stocks many accoutrements for your sealing wax including a selection of fine stationery. Also, candles for melting the wax, glue guns, Washi tape, highlighting pens and much more. Karen explains,
“Rossi papers came to us as a new line to accommodate our letter writing & calligraphy clientele. Italian made papers, and the letterpress process, has continued to be a benchmark of quality our customers look for.”
“Rossi ties in tightly with the founding of LetterSeals.com, as the two are family businesses working to keep quality traditional correspondence and creative items relevant, while updating lines to continue with modern tastes and applications. “
“The ever- evolving world of creative makers has seen papers + wax seals used in continually unique and inspiring projects.”
“The Classic Florentine line continues to be our best seller.
We find our customer introduce themselves to the Rossi line with the Classic pattern, then branch out into other pattern options with their returning orders.”
To order your own seal or for a totally classic gift, visit Karen and her website, LetterSeals. They Ship locally & globally from their Seattle Area Studio.
“We are a small company of family and friends, and work to provide you with the service and products.”