A delicate lyre decorates a brown jasper seal from Jerusalem. The lyre has twelve strings connected by an oblique crossbar. On the bottom is a sound box, rounded on one side and carinated, or sharply angled, on the other. The sound box is decorated with a line of “pearls” along its outer edge and with a rosette at the center. The Hebrew inscription appears as a mirror image.
In antiquity, a seal was used to stamp a bulla or lump of clay affixed to a letter in order to prevent the fetter from being opened during transmission. Imprinted in a bulla, this seal’s seventh century B.C. Hebrew inscription would then appear in its correct orientation and name its owner: “Belonging to Ma’adanah, the King’s daughter.”