Phantom of the Opera Sealing Wax Stamp
This item was inspired by the motion picture starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum. When I found that a reproduction was not commercially available, I created this in collaboration with two other artisans who are experts in their respective fields, intending to emulate and pay homage to the movie prop.
The actual metallic stamp was investment cast in pure silicon bronze - an alloy favored by sculptors for its melting point, flow characteristics, and attractive patina. The only other metal is a small amount of silver that was used to repair minor flaws in the inner skull image caused by an irregularity in the casting, which is common in this method. You may notice the repair in the photograph. And though the outer surface appears to have a rather ruddy, "bronzy" color to it, you should expect it to darken as the metal ages and gains patina. If this is not your preference, a bit of Brasso will maintain the bright shine, since the metal is unvarnished. The stamp medallion itself is approximately 2" in diameter and just under 1" tall. It's quite substantial and, together with the handle, weighs over 12 ounces: three-quarters of a pound. The entire piece stands roughly 6.5" tall. The skull image is very deep and three-dimensional, making a wax seal with extremely high relief: nearly ¾" as it rises from the page or envelope. The handle was custom turned by lathe in a professional wood shop to my exact design specifications, which do not duplicate the original but come very close in style and concept. To be honest, I like mine a bit better. It is solid hard wood (poplar), stained a deep ebony color, with 18K gold accents, and heavily finished in Varathane with a soft semi-gloss sheen.
This is intended primarily as an objec d'art, though it can also be used to make actual wax seals. In the photographs you can see a sample which was produced with this stamp. Be aware, however, that in order to make seals with this device, you must pour the melted wax into the stamp UPSIDE DOWN. T was certainly a bit of movie FX magic going on when the Phantom used his seal in the film. Gravity would prevent such a stamp from working in real life. But it works satisfactorily in a procedure I will describe in detail to the winning bidder.
I would call this item well-polished, but with just enough irregularities and imperfections to mark it as a truly hand-made, and tfore unique, piece. T are four in existence, two of which are no longer available for auction (one was sold, the other is my own). Each is slightly different, as is the nature of custom made works. And each bears the initials of the three artisans that collaborated to create it: Dedra (the sculptor), Jerry (the metallurgist and custom jewelry designer), and Deryck (me, the overall designer and executive producer who also finished the handle and assembled the project).
This project required a surprising amount of time and effort, not anticipated by us. It is highly unlikely that more will be produced in the future.
The "note" pictured is included in this auction. The envelope was hand-made from highest-quality 32lb. linen stock, with matching card. The attached seal was made with this stamp and is a genuine example of what you can expect if you choose to use it making more.
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