The Art of Sealing
Times may have changed, but nothing can add a touch of elegance and traditional charm to your gifts and correspondence like a well crafted seal. We use Lac (waxing seal) at iTokri to give a age old vintage charm and love to parcels. Lac seal is still made using age old handcrafted techniques and wax is made using only natural products.
The use of wax seals for officiating and securing correspondence can be traced to the origins of the written word. Since time immemorial, the seal has served as a stamp of indisputable authenticity, just as a signature is accepted in the world today. The use of seals can be traced back to the Old Testament, where it mentions that Jezebel used Ahab’s seal to counterfeit important documents.
Letters sealed with sealing wax in a painting by Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts(1665)
In Medieval Times, betrothals were prearranged-therefore true words of love were secretly written and the envelope’s contents secured by a wax seal, so that the recipient could be assured that their passion would be unknown to others. As literacy increased, seals were used less frequently and with the introduction of the gummed envelope in the 19th Century the need for privacy was reduced. Seals became a more personal expression.
Lac (Sealing Wax ) has many stories to tell in India. In Mahabharat, the plotting took a grave turn when Dhritarashtra had to relent to the will of the masses and rightfully appointed his nephew Yudhisthira as crown prince. This went against the personal ambitions of both father and son (Dhritarashtra and Duryodhana), and drove Duryodhana into such a rage, that he enthusiastically agreed to an evil ploy by Shakuni to murder Yudhisthira. Shakuni commissioned the construction of a palace in Varnavata, secretly built by incorporating flammable materials into the structure, most notably sealing wax(known as Laac). This palace was known as Duryodhana then successfully lobbied with Dhritarashtra to send Yudhisthira to represent the royal household in Varnavata during the celebrations of Shiva Mahotsava. The plan was to set the palace on fire during the night while Yudhisthira would likely be asleep. As Yudhisthira left for Varnavata, accompanied by his four brothers and mother Kunti, fortunately for the Pandavas, the plan was discovered by their paternal uncle Vidura, who was very loyal to them and an extraordinarily wise man. In addition, Yudhisthira had been forewarned about this plot by a hermit who came to him and spoke of an imminent disaster. Vidura arranged for a tunnel to be secretly built for the Pandavs to safely escape the wax palace as it was set afire.
Till today Sealing wax is used as an official seal in Indian Post, Railways for securing parcels and documents.