English Pilgrim's Christian Badge, 14th-15th Century AD


Circular, over 5/8" diameter. White metal, probably a tin-lead pewter alloy. The front with a triple concentric radial motif representing the Wheel of Fortune. The motif actually flows around the suspension hole forming an "eye" probably a reference to the "Evil Eye". The back with the symmetrical cross with expansions ("crutches") to the beam terminals is specifically related to the Crusader's crosses bearing the Jerusalem cross in honor of Godfrey of Bouillon, a Frankish Knight of the First Crusade, known as Baron of the Holy Sepulcher and the Crusader King, ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem following its victorious siege in the First Crusade. It represents five crosses in one, remembering the five wounds of Christ. An interesting mix of Christianity with the old superstitions. These were produced in the Holy Land for pilgrims who wore them at home as prestige symbols. They were sold at shrines of saints where holy relics of the saints, sometimes, the whole corpus, were preserved. The symbols are specific to the life and achievements of the saint. Pilgrims wore them strung as necklaces, on hats, or attached to the clothing.

Item ID: A4155

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English Pilgrim's Christian Badge, 14th-15th Century AD

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