Historical Use Of Seals And Personal Marks
Not precisely on point, but it is common in East Asia and Southeast Asia, and was historically common in common law and civil law countries, for legal entities, such as corporations to ratify contracts with an official seal sometimes called a "chop."
In those contexts, possession of the seal creates a strong presumption of authority to agree on behalf of the entity and it is not necessary to know who actually used the seal to affix the seal to prove the validity of an entity's assent to the contract. Basically, in the language of common law lawyers, possession of a corporate seal conveys apparent authority to use that seal in the absence of obvious circumstances to the contrary (e.g. the other party know the officers of the entity personally and knows that the person using the seal is an imposter).
These days, in common law countries and non-Asian civil law countries, the more common practice is to have an entity assent to a contract with the name of the entity followed by the word "by" and then a signature of an individual corporate officer or agent whose identity and title is expressly stated in the signature block and who signs their own name as the authorizing agent rather than the name of the entity.
In circumstances where a signatory to the contract is not sufficiently literate to sign their own name, the historical norm in common law countries was for that person to affix an "X" on a signature line where the person's name was printed.
In East Asia and Southeast Asia, people who were illiterate in this way but not impoverished (and many literate middle class and upper middle class people as well) would have a signature seal similar to a corporate seal but to sign on behalf of an individual natural person.
In both the "X" case and in the individual "chop" case, sometimes, if there was concern that there might be a dispute over the identity of the person who agreed to the contract, the person agreeing would sometimes also ink their finger or impress their finger in wax to leave a finger print as well on the document.
For what it is worth, the institution of a name seal or corporate seal to agree to contracts and identify someone with a document precedes the idea of a signature by many centuries. Seals were used in the Neolithic (i.e. stone age farmer) Balkan Vinca culture, in the Indus Valley Civilization prior to ca. 2000 BCE, in East Asia and Southeast Asia, and in Sumerian, Hittite and Egyptian cultures in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East long before signatures or full purpose written languages were invented.
Written languages emerged from the earlier practice of identifying things associated with a person with seals. Seals continued to be predominant in the time period when only a tiny percentage of the population, mostly literate clerks, priests, and nobles, were literate in the newly invented written languages, but the masses of ordinary and even reasonably well off people were illiterate and dictated correspondence to scribes. Signatures only really caught on in cultures where an ability to read and write was nearly universal.
Sometimes the identity of a signer doesn't matter
It is also worth noting that there are a fair number of circumstances in which the identity of the person signing isn't very important but a signature is.
For example, in the case of a negotiable instrument like a check, one way to transfer ownership of the instrument is to sign the back. Knowing who signs the initial time is important as it should match the payee of the instrument. But if a check is negotiated to multiple people in sequence the identity of the intermediate and even the final endorser (i.e. person signing the back) of the negotiable instrument doesn't really matter much. Rights attach to the "holder" of the negotiable instrument (i.e., the person in possession of that physical piece of paper) and whether the holder did or did not endorse it (i.e. did or did not sign the back of it) often doesn't matter.
Likewise, if someone is in charge of managing a storeroom, the fact that someone signed a receipt to pick up something that was kept in the storeroom matters more for most purposes than who actually signed it, and there is a rebuttable presumption that the person who signed for it had the authority to do so, even if the identity of that person can't be determined.
A more modern example involves click based assent to the terms of service of a website or online service that authorizes the online service provider to do something that can only be done with consent or requires an acknowledgment from the user (e.g. authorization to shut down an account for non-payment that is payed with a gift card, or acknowledgement that a user is located in a country where certain regulations don't apply). In those circumstances, the online service provider is protected by the existence of a record of the checkoff agreeing to the terms or acknowledging something and the online service provides has no reason to have to actually identify the online user who agreed in the real world.