Great Seal Hand Press

United States early 20th century

This hand-operated seal press was used by diplomats to emboss official documents and passports with the Great Seal. The exterior is decorated with a stylized illustration of the U.S. coat of arms, which includes a banner in the eagle’s beak with the Latin motto of the United States, “E Pluribus Unum” (“Out of Many, One”). Consular press seals are essential tools of the trade for diplomats. They are used to mark official approval for functions such as notarial services, issuing visas and passports, and performing certain shipping and seamen services.

  • Source/Credit: Transfer from Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State
  • Catalog Number: 2015.0028.01
  • Created: early 20th century
  • Acquired: 2015

This image is in the public domain and no permission is required to use it. Please credit the National Museum of American Diplomacy as the original source, and provide a link back to the item page where possible.

Most of our items are donations, and we cannot always confirm the copyright or trademark status of photographs, prints, drawings, and other artistic works that may be depicted in these images.

Please contact us at for any permissions or usage questions.

MLA Format

Great Seal Hand Press. c. 1900. National Museum of American Diplomacy,

Chicago Format

Great Seal Hand Press, c. 1900, National Museum of American Diplomacy, Washington, DC,

APA Format

(c. 1900). Great Seal Hand Press [Object]. National Museum of American Diplomacy, Washington, D.C., United States.