Share this page

Signed and Sealed – writing with Shakespeare

Find out more about new additions to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust shop

The tools Shakespeare used to make his mark are at the very heart of his world. That’s why we’re thrilled to launch two exciting, original products, both of which tap into Shakespeare’s history.

The first, in a white, decorative box, with Shakespeare’s signature on the lid, is a dip pen and seal, with sealing wax. Designed and produced in the UK - and handmade of oak and pewter - this beautiful set is ideal for a gift.

Shakespeare seal set

The seal is based on the seal ring in the Trust’s Collections, currently on display in the Famous Beyond Words exhibition.

This gold signet ring (seal) carries the initials W S, intertwined with a lover’s knot and is believed to have belonged to William Shakespeare. It would have been pressed into molten wax to seal documents.

The ring was found near Holy Trinity churchyard in 1810, and some have suggested it may have been lost at Shakespeare’s daughter’s wedding in 1616. In Shakespeare’s will, amended that year, the phrase, ‘whereof I have hereunto put my hand and Seale’ was altered; the words ‘and Seale’ being crossed out, suggesting he didn’t have his ring when he signed the will.

The style of the ring is consistent with the period, and is a reminder of a very real world that once existed.

Signet (as in signet ring) derives from the old French word signe, meaning to mark. As well as being worn as rings, seals were also worn on a chain around the neck, or might be simple seals with handles, like the example in our gift set. Although primarily used as a tool of business, seal rings may have also been given to others as a mark of friendship, or a reminder of patronage. 

Also new, in an elegant box and tied with ribbon, is a wood and pewter inkwell and pen set, handmade in the UK. The decorative pewter border on the inkwell is taken from the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays (1623), and the design on the lid is also inspired by the seal ring.

Shakespeare pen and inkwell

Your very own inkwell and pen set costs just £60, and the dip pen and seal, £40. You can purchase them both in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust online shop.

Every purchase supports the vital care and conservation of the Shakespeare houses and collections.