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This silver seal, belonging to John Jay’s father, Peter Jay (1704-1782), bears the original Jay family coat of arms. The silver collar is very faintly and crudely scratched with his name “Peter Jay 1722.” Seals were used to keep a letter closed while in transit, and to tell the recipient if the letter had been opened. Having the family’s coat of arms was a way to show recipients who the letter was from. The Jay family shield is topped by a pair of overlapped hearts; foliate scroll work flanks the hearts and shield. Although the hearts were not a traditional Huguenot symbol, they were likely an homage to the protestant reformer, John Calvin, as French protestants were heavily influenced by Calvin’s philosophies. Learn about John Jay’s Huguenot heritage on our Thematic Tour offered Wednesday through Saturday at 2pm, throughout the month of August.