A RARE desk seal which belonged to Sir Walter Scott has sold for thousands of pounds at auction.

It was part of the Matrix Collection, a hundred seals gathered over several decades by the late David Morris, an avid collector.

It is believed to date from the cultural and literary giant’s knighthood in 1820.

A prolific writer of letters, it is likely that this seal was also used in correspondence to King George IV.

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This led to Scott organising a royal visit to Scotland, complete with tartan pageantry which resulted in the elevation of the kilt to national dress.

It was expected to fetch between £12,000 to £18,000 when it went under the hammer last week - and eventually sold for £13,860.

Border Telegraph: The desk seal which belonged to Sir Walter Scott. Photo: Lyon & TurnbullThe desk seal which belonged to Sir Walter Scott. Photo: Lyon & Turnbull (Image: Photo: Lyon & Turnbull)

Specialist Kier Mulholland, who was at the rostrum for the sale conducted by Lyon & Turnbull, said: “The auction was very lively with interest from the UK and across the world.

"It was an exciting sale to be part of and very satisfying to see demand for these rare seals, each of which tell their own story. I’m delighted with the results.”

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Wax seals were widely used from the Middle Ages until the nineteenth century when letters could be safely sealed with glue.

Seals have recently undergone something of a revival, with a new generation of enthusiasts using them for wedding invitations and other special occasion correspondence.

Ms Mulholland described the collection as being “art in miniature and craftsmanship at its finest”.

It included a rock crystal and multi-gem set desk seal owned by Lady Mary Douglas-Hamilton.

The total realised for the collection was around £100,000.