Sealing wax can be used to create a hermetic seal on containers and letters and is available in the form of sticks, sometimes with a wick, or as granules. Letters prior to 1840 were carried by means of a rather archaic postal system which the great Post Office Reforms of 1839 and 1840 sought to address. Acidic wood pulp for manufacturing paper did not commence until after 1843 but good quality “rag” paper generally continued to be used with formal letters for many years after this date. Our paper will be one – and only one – sheet of English A4 sized (210mm by 197mm) good quality white un-lined paper (US A4 sized paper can be used and folded to suit final sizing later). Finally, upon completing and signing our letter we can move onto the final stage of creating our “envelope”. Prior to 1839 the use of an additional envelope meant that the letter was then counted as two sheets of paper rather than one thus an additional postal charge would be levied. This actually produced an excellent acid-free paper which has thus lasted extremely well, especially when it was used for printing newspapers.
Very quickly before the wax dries we place our wax seal firmly over the soft wax thereby leaving an impression from the seal and ensuring the wax has adhered firmly to the paper. This now enables us to tuck the top fold into the bottom of the letter to form a self-made envelope measuring around 148mm by 100mm. Finally, ensuring that where the two parts are slipped into each other on the reverse of our “envelope” is at the bottom, write the recipients name and address on the front but leaving room for the postal stamp impression at the top. We now make use of our wax seal by using a candle or preferably a wax taper (used to light oil lamps) to melt one end of our stick of sealing wax, allowing a sufficient amount to dribble onto the centre of the join on the reverse of our “envelope”. A flowing style of handwriting was fairly standard, partly on account of nib pens being more suitable for this style of writing lest the ink dribble and cause unsightly ink spots. He died in 1914 but the business was continued by Henry Hill under the same style. But it most likely originally belonged to his own Grandfather who died in 1870 or his parents who died in 1862 and 1865 respectively.
Roslin village, Midlothian in Scotland and who died in 1835. The second gold seal at rear belonged to my Great Grandfather, a Merchant in Edinburgh, who died in 1862. Most individuals of reasonable means owned personalised seals. Because of the time consumption, we suggest using wick wax sticks only if you are creating one or two seals. Seals have been made since ancient times. The paper, which is hand-made, will ordinarily have a visible watermark and will have been made of recycled and bleached fibre extracted from cotton and linen rags. A soft, low melting point wax will melt down the sides of the container. This is an Edwardian silver sealing wax dispenser in the form of an elongated square container with a sliding device to pull off the sealing stick. We shall next need a steel nib “dip” pen along with a bottle or container of ink. Also presented with a wooden dip pen and bottle of ink. As you can see, how to use bottle sealing wax beads is open to some interpretation. New mass-produced steel nib pens became very popular after 1822, prior to this quill pens were in commonly use.
A Selection of Steel Nibs for Dip Pens. Dip pens, using removable nibs and which were required to be frequently dipped into the ink, came in fine, medium and wide variations. A medium temperature wax is usually used with a flat braid or square braid wick. This could either be a flat card or a “hand blotter” with a blotting card attached to a curved block of wood with a handle which we would place over the writing with a rolling motion. Rolled Candles are formed by rolling a sheet of pliable wax around a wick. A semi-rigid wick having a core of paper or zinc is used so that the wick will remain upright in the pool of molten wax. Place a floater with wick on the surface and light. WAX SEAL STAMP KIT – Paxcoo sealing wax kit comes with totally 300 pieces of wax seal beads in gold color, a wax seal warmer, a melting spoon and 10 pieces tea light candles. Its convenience comes with its own defects. The purpose of the application is to provide a smooth surface transition between the vertical and horizontal planes of the two parts. Make sure you use the right caulk for the right application.