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Object Name: Seal matrix
Date: ca. 1646
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Medium: Silver
Dimensions: Overall: 1 5/8 × 1 1/4 in., 1 oz (troy) 17.3 dwt (4.1 × 3.2 cm, 58 g)
Place made: Europe, Dutch Republic
Description: Cast and engraved silver seal matrix of Peter Stuyvesant; circular matrix engraved with the arms of the Stuyvesant family, a running stag below a hound chasing a hare in a shield, shield surmounted by the family crest, a demi-stag jumping out of a prince's crown, and foliate scrolls; feathered border around the edge with an inscription along the border; engraved in Latin, "S. PET: STUYVESANT: N: BELGII ET CURACO. INS. GUBERNATOR" [Seal of Peter Stuyvesant, Director General of New Netherland and Curacao] in roman letters; cylindrical hinge applied vertically down the reverse; double s-scroll topped by a loop, applied to the hinge.
Credit Line: Gift of Robert Van Rensselaer Stuyvesant
Object Number: 1909.34
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Marks: Engraved around the edge: "S. PET: STUYVESANT: N: BELGII ET CURACO. INS. GUBERNATOR" in roman letters

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When Peter Stuyvesant (1611/12-1672) arrived in May 1647 to assume his duties as director general of New Netherland, he brought this newly minted Dutch seal matrix. Few documents survive with this seal, which was probably made not long after May 1645, when Stuyvesant was selected by the Dutch West India Company to succeed director Willem Kieft. The absence of examples of this seal on surviving official documents raises the possibility that Stuyvesant used this matrix primarily for purposes of identification and security, and used the official seal of New Netherland as a mark of authorization.


Peter Stuyvesant (1611/12-1672), who married Judith Bayard (1608-1685); to their son Nicolaes Willem Stuyvesant (1648-1698), who married (2nd) Elizabeth Van Slichtenhorst (1652-1738); to their son Gerardus Stuyvesant (1691-1777), who married Judith Bayard (1685-1751); to their son Petrus Stuyvesant (1727-1805), who married Margaret Livingston (1738-1818); to their son Nicholas William Stuyvesant (1769-1833), who married Catherine Livingston Reade (1777-1867); to their son Peter Stuyvesant (1796-1860), who married Julia Rebecca Martin (b. 1805); to their son Robert Van Rensselaer Stuyvesant (1838-1918), the donor.


Krohn, Deborah, Peter Miller, and Marybeth De Filippis, eds. Dutch New York Between East and West: The World of Margrieta van Varick. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. Exhibition catalog.


"Dutch New York Between East and West: The World of Margarita van Varick," Bard Graduate Center, New York, NY, September 18, 2009–January 24, 2010.

"Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York," New-York Historical Society, May 4–September 23, 2012; Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, FL, January 28–April 20, 2014.