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Papal bulla of Pope Innocent IV

The Papal bulla featured here was found by Justin Hayes. It is 35mm in diameter, made of lead and Justin asked what it might be worth.

For those who don’t know what a bulla is I’ll provide an explanation. These things are similar to seals, in that they were attracted to documents. Most seals were wax but in the case of documents issued by a Pope they were made of lead. There were lots of communications between popes and the ecclesiastical authorities in England and all these would have a lead bulla attached to them.

On one side of the bulla found by Justin are the heads of St. Peter and St. Paul. On the other side, in three lines, is INNO CENTVS P P IIII. Therefore, this bulla was issues by Pope Innocent IV, whose dates are 1243 to 1254.


Last year a similar bulla in Fine condition was sold at auction for £90. The example illustrated here would grade about VF so to a collector it should be worth up to £150.

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