Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

pilgrm-badges-msg - 3/23/15


Medieval pilgrim badges. References.


NOTE: See also the files: pilgrimages-msg, casting-msg, tokens-msg, soapstone-msg, relics-msg, Relics-fr-all-art, saints-msg, icons-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: sniderm at mcmail2.cis.McMaster.CA (Mike Snider)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Documentation

Date: 8 Apr 1995 11:16:49 -0400

Organization: McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.



  I have made a number of stone molds for casting buttons and pilgrim tokens.

If she has the Museum of London Dress Accessories book, that is a great

source but she may want to track down the following.

Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges By Brian Spencer ISBN 0 947535 128


Medieval Pilgrim and Secular Badges by Michael Mitchiner


I would recomment entering in the dress acc. category rather than as a

metal working entry if the criteria where you are is anything like it is

here in the Middle Kingdom. I am currently working on criteria for stone

casting, but it won't be in use for a while.


If she has any sources to share or needs any help, please have contact

me directly by E-mail. I would love to hear from fellow casters.


Elizabeth Cadfan



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Saints Badges (was: Re: Pentacles (again and again and again))

Date: Sun, 16 Jun 1996 22:34:22 -0400

Organization: Bell Global Solutions


Sharon Krossa wrote:

> sclark at chass.utoronto.ca (Susan Carroll-Clark) wrote on 12 Jun 1996:


Wrote an excellent post on period religion symbols.


> First -- very nice post, with a good point!


> Second -- okay, you got me interested. Can you tell us about

>saints' badges? I am familiar with *modern* RC saints' medals (which I've

>always thought were rather tacky but this never stopped me aquiring a few ;-),

>are saints' badges a precursor of these? What forms do they

>take? What did people do with them? How did people aquire them?


> Effric neyn Cannich vc ralte

> mka Sharon Krossa, too curious as always...


Perhaps Mistress Nicolae will give as better reply to this but here

goes. Saint's badges where metal badges approximately 1/2 to 2

inches across. They where often made of pewter. They contain some

aspect of the Saint - pigs for St. Anthony patron saint of

swineherders, shell for St. James, a crown for St. Edward the

Confessor, a matyrdom of St. Alban for his metal etc. They are

mounted with pin on the back to be worn on your clothing or pilgrims

bag. They where often purchased as pilgrims tokens after visiting a

saint's site. They where often poorly made - basically tourist

trickets. There are lots of documentation mostly extent pieces.


I know of a number of SCA artisians who make such tokens for a

modest price ($5 to $20 each). They are a great addition to a high

middle ages persona. Three of them sell at Pennsic.



Richard Larmer



From: sclark at chass.utoronto.ca (Susan Carroll-Clark)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Saints Badges (was: Re: Pentacles (again and again and again))

Date: 17 Jun 1996 10:58:36 -0400

Organization: University of Toronto -- EPAS




Saints' badges and pilgrim tokens were the costume jewellery of the

Middle Ages.  They were usually made of pewter and cast in large quantities,

often being sold (similar to the little saints' medallions available today)

in and nearby churches and shrines.  Pilgrims would often pick them up as

the medieval equivalent of a t-shirt, sewing them to a hat or cloak. The

idea has already been picked up in the SCA with things such as the Pennsic

pilgrim's token and so forth.  Sometimes the token was made of something

other than pewter--seashells were the pilgrim badge of Compostella,

for instance.  These badges mostly date from the 13th century on, although

the idea seems to be older.


Many of these badges are quite beautiful, and there are whole books devoted

to showing extant ones.  My friend, Dame Elizabeth Cadfan, makes them as

part of her business.  If you will be at Pennsic, look for Fettered Cock

Pewters; if you can't make it, e-mail me and I'll give you contact info.



Nicolaa de Bracton

sclark at chass.utoronto.ca



From: "Robert Dawson,PA-C" <dawsonr at naxs.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pilgrimage Badge  Pictures?

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 15:23:19 -0400


>Can anyone recommend some sources showing a variety of pilgrimage badges?

>   Fernando


This one might be a little hard to find, but it has some excellent line

drawings and discussion of pilgrim's tokens and badges:


'In the Steps of the Pilgrims'

Sidney Heath

G.P. Putnam's Sons, NY

originally published in 1911, revised and reprinted in the early 50's


Kenna McKenna



From: Mark Shier <mark at medievalwares.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pilgrimage Badge  Pictures?

Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 10:32:44 -0700

Organization: Islandnet.com on Vancouver Island B.C. Canada


   I believe Dress Accessories and the Age of Chivalry catalogue each show

one or wo badges, but books on the subject are not going to be easy to find.

There is an excellent volume in Dutch on the subject, but I don't have the

title. One of the South Wilts series form Salisbury has badges.


   Medieval Pilgrim and Secular Badges by Michael Mitchener. Hawkins 1986.

Hundreds of good pictures, very suspect text. Hard to find, expensive.


   Medieval Pilgrim Badges from Norfolk by Brian Spencer. Norfolk Museums

Service 1980. Paperback. Anything by Spencer is good.


   Enseignes de Pelerinage et Enseignes Profanes by Denis Bruna.   Reunion

des Musees Nationaux, Paris 1996. Excellent, expensive. I have made some

badges based on examples from this book. They are currently at my web page

(www.medievalwares.com)- go to the "New" section.


   If you need more information on these titles, such as ISBNs, just let me






From: "Karyn Schmidt" <karyn at rconnect.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pilgrimage Badge  Pictures?

Date: 12 Sep 1998 22:30:09 GMT


Fvigil <fvigil at aol.com> wrote:

> Can anyone recommend some sources showing a variety of pilgrimage badges?


You want some steenking badges....


F.E. Halliday.  Chaucer and his world.  NY, Viking, 1968, page 112, has two

-- a bell and a pair of open hands.

Derek Brewer.  Chaucer and his World.  NY, Dodd, Mead, 1978, page 202 has

three -- a head (of Becket) a head contained in a ring, and something like

a buckle, and page 203 shows one with two figures in a frame.

Alan Kendall.  Medieval Pilgrims. (Putnam Documentary History Series)  NY,

G.P.Putnam's Sons, 1970, page 113 has a very clear line drawing showing

Becket's head in a round frame.  The frontispiece shows a painting of a

pilgrim wearing a shell on his hat. I recommend this book as an

introduction to the phenomenon of pilgrimage.  It's loaded with pictures.


There's a start for you.

Kudrun fle Pilegrim



Date: Thu, 04 Feb 1999 16:21:50 -0500

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Odd bits of metal / Pilgrims Tokens / Minting Books


Whilst groping about the web last nite I came on the following site.

You lot often gab about casting, or minting money, or even the history

of Gallic coinage, British Isles, European, or World.


Among other offerings are:

Coin Hoards, Volume I, Royal Numismatic Society, London £10.00

Coin Hoards, Volume 2, Royal Numismatic Society, London £10.00

Coin Hoards, Volume V, Royal Numismatic Society, London, 1979 £10.00

Coin Hoards, Volume VI, Royal Numismatic Society, London, 1981 £10.00

Coin Hoards, Volume VIII, Royal Numismatic Society, London, Greek

Hoards £40.00


Cooper, D.R., The Art and Craft of Coinmaking, A History of Minting

Technology, London, 1988, 264 pages, many illustrations, some in

colour £29.50


Dekesel, Christian E., A Bibliography of 16th Century Numismatic

Books, London 1997, 1104 pages analysing all known books of the

period, limited to 400 copies, casebound £200.00


Metallurgy in Numismatics. Volume 1. Metcalf, D. M. and Oddy, W. A.

(eds.), R.N.S. Special Publication No. 13, London, 1980, 220 pages, 28

plates, cloth reduced to £8.00


Metallurgy in Numismatics. Volume 2. Oddy, W. A. (ed.), R.N.S. Special

Publication No. 19, London, 1988, 132 pages, 11 plates, cloth £18.00


Metallurgy in Numismatics. Volume 3. Archibald, M. M. and Cowell, M.

R. (eds.), R.N.S. Special Publication No. 24, London, 1993, 296 pages,

38 plates, cloth £40.00


Mitchiner, Michael, Medieval Pilgrim and Secular Badges, Sanderstead,

1986, 288 pages, over 1100 badges described and illustrated, covering

Medieval England, 13th century to late 16th century, France, Belgium,

Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Byzantine and post-Byzantine, and

other artefacts, casebound, 12.5" x 8.5", £30.00


(from http://www.netcollect.co.uk/  enquiries at netcollect.co.uk

mail at netcollect.co.uk)


                      Collectors Gallery

                7 Castle Gates, Shrewsbury SY1 2AE

               Tel: 01743 272140 Fax: 01743 366041

                  e.mail m.veissid at btinternet.com



The other principal Pilgrim and Secular Badges books I am aware of

may be had through Oxbow. I've been looking for Mitchener for a bit.

BTW I got the Salisbury Museum Catalog on Medieval Pilgrim and Secular

Badges last week and was very pleased with it. Very clearly illustrated

and a nice selection. There are two. Other books on Medieval Badges

would be Heilig and Profaan, and the Museum of London Medieval Catalog.


Oxbow Books, Park End Place, Oxford, OX1 1HN, UK

Tel:(044)-1865-241249 Fax:(044)-1865-794449

E-mail: oxbow at oxbowbooks.com   http://www.oxbowbooks.com/


US customers contact: (USA) David Brown Book Co, PO Box 511, Oakville,

CT 06779

Tel: 860 945 9329 Fax: 860 945 9468  Website: http://www.oxbowbooks.com


Greenlight Publishing has been tracked down if you are interested in

the Detector Finds Series:

Please see www.coins-and-antiquities.co.uk/books.html

Greenlight Publishing

The Publishing House

119 Newland Street

Witham, Essex CM8 1WF

Tel: 01376 521900

Fax: 01376 521901

email magazines at easynet.co.uk


I believe the webpage is one short on their historical buckles books

as it lists only six, and the previous page I noted listed 7 books total

published by them. The missing book is:

Guide to Detector Finds : Guide to Dating and Identifying  Buckles,

by Bailey, Gordon; Payne, Greg (Ed.)(Retail Price £6.00Each)


My impression is that the same books are cheaper, and more fully listed

on the following page:





Master Magnus Malleus, OL, Atlantia, Great Dark Horde



Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 16:53:55 -0500

From: rmhowe <MMagnusM at bellsouth.net>

To: "- Stephan's Florilegium" <stefan at texas.net>,

   - Authenticity List <authenticity at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Book stamps / boat models / Pilgrim Ampullae from Dublin


Wallace, Patrick F.(Ed.):  Miscellanea 1: Medieval Dublin Excavations

        1962-81, National Museum of Ireland, 48pp PB Royal Irish

        Academy, Dublin, 1988 PB ISBN 0901714712, HB ISBN 0901714712.

        $13.49 in paperback from Amazon.com.

        The first section is a Bibliography of Dublin 840-1300

        listing all articles. About 5 pages of solid bibliography

        by Patrick Wallace.

        The second section is A 'Winchester-style' Bronze Mount

        by Andrew Halpin. This depicts four differnt mounts. Similar

        ones are thought to possibly have been sword pommels. This

        one is highly carved in an animalistic romanesque style and

        is thought to have been a ceremonial staff end of some type.    

        (Although to me it looks like the animals would have been

        upside down in context). 10 C. English Import. Two inches

        wide by about 5/8" thick. Shown actual size in three

        orthographic drawings, and one photo.

        The third section if Ship Graffiti and Models by Arne-Emil

        Christianson. This one looks like fun, it has a number of

        graffiti of early ships including a horned dragon head ship

        and some obvious toys and models. Both carved models and real

        boats are illustrated. Also a Birka coin and a wooden gaming

        piece from High Street which is rather like a checker piece.

        25 illus. Bibliography.

          The fourth section is Romanesque bookbinding fragments

        by Joseph McDonnell and has a number of book stamp styles       

        illustrated. Not the actual punches but the impressions of

        them. This kind of illustration is fairly rare. The leather

        bits and the six different stamp designs used are depicted.

        A palmette, a repeating palmette, a lobe shaped dragon, a dove

        without a nimbus enclosed in a palmette frame, an Ostrich?,

        and a boar.

        The last section if Pilgrim Souvenirs by Brian Spencer

        which consists of quite a number of differently shaped

        Ampullae. Ten illustrations and about 40 citations in the



Magnus Malleus, OL, Atlantia, GDH / R.M.Howe


***Not to be forewared to SCA-Universitas or any open Newsgroups,

especially the Rialto. Closed email lists of the SCA or reenactor

community are fine.



From: Cynthia Virtue <cvirtue at thibault.org>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pilgrim tokens

Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2001 14:25:10 -0500


> Anyone know where I can see photos of what these things looked like?


http://www.billieandcharlie.com is an SCA merchant who does

reproductions.  Good stuff.


> Were they pinned to clothes? hats? worn on strings?


Yes to the first two, not so sure about the last.


> How big were they?


Varied.  The repros I've seen are between 1/2" and 2"


Cynthia du PrŽ Argent (Hartshorn-dale, East)



From: David Debono <david.debono at montacute.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pilgrim tokens

Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2001 23:09:01 +0100


On Wed, 04 Apr 2001 12:11:54 -0700, db <deadmonk at hotmail.com> wrote:

>I am thinking of striking some site tokens. And it occurs to

>me that following the pattern for pilgrim tokens, which I

>understand were the medieval equivalent of the "I've seen

>the WORLD FAMOUS two headed Calf" bumper stickers of today,

>might not only make for historical accuracy, but could be

>used as an A&S project as well. Anyone know where I can see

>photos of what these things looked like? Were they pinned to

>cloths? hats? worn on strings? How big were they?

>Conspiring minds want to know.....



There are various traders in the UK who produce replica Pilgrimage

Badges from the mediaeval period. The most common is beckets Tomb from

the pilgrimage trail to Canterbury. these tended to be of Lead in

period but are from whatever alloy the modern trader use. IME they are

about 2" tall and about 1 1.2" wide and tended to be either sewn onto

clothing and hats.


Well that is the way that UK'rs wear them. Jerusalem, Compostella and

walsingham are all common themes.


People wore them as an open show of their piety having done the walk

(as it were) to the religious sites. As an idea for going to wars (as

I understand them) then why not. A modern/old type of car window

sticker *smile*


David D.

The Mediaeval Combat Society

The Historical Reenactment Web Site




From: rlobinske at aol.com (Richard Lobinske)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Date: 05 Apr 2001 11:00:12 GMT

Subject: Re: Pilgrim tokens


>db wrote:

>> I am thinking of striking some site tokens. And it occurs to

>> me that following the pattern for pilgrim tokens, which I

>> understand were the medieval equivalent of the "I've seen

>> the WORLD FAMOUS two headed Calf" bumper stickers of today,

>> might not only make for historical accuracy, but could be

>> used as an A&S project as well. Anyone know where I can see

>> photos of what these things looked like? Were they pinned to

>> cloths? hats? worn on strings? How big were they?

>> Conspiring minds want to know.....

>> db


Look for the book "Mediaeval European Jewellery : with a catalogue of the

collection in the Victoria & Albert Museum " by Ronald W. Lightbown. (1992)

This book has several photos of pilgrims badges.  Sizes seem to vary, but up to

a couple inches.  For doing site tokens, you might want to consider scaled down

pieces to save on materials cost.  Even though pewter is relatively

inexpensive, doing enough for even a modest event will consume a considerable

amount of metal.  


Victor Hildebrand vonn Koln

mka Richard Lobinske




Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pilgrim tokens

From: john enzinas <jvague at geocities.com>

Date: Thu, 05 Apr 2001 17:28:57 GMT


mark shier <mark at medievalwares.com> shared

>    Billy and Charlie make the best badges, but I make some, as well. Like

>B+C, mine are made using stone moulds, the period way.

>            mark



Also there are the creations of the Fettered Cock.




From: clevin at ripco.com (Craig Levin)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pilgrim tokens

Date: 6 Apr 2001 17:51:45 GMT

Organization: Ripco Internet, Chicago


In article <fA5z6.6786$5Y1.138521 at news1.tin.it>, Lux <adjlen at tin.it> wrote:

>One of the simplest tokens used during the medieval period was a shell (like the

>one in Shell gasoline). It symbolized the pilgrims that arrived at Santiago di

>Compostella in Portugal, (Saint James' grave). The pilgrims would just pick it

>up off the shore.


Actually, Compostella de Santiago is quite some distance inland,

although there are several harbors that traditionally take

pilgrims' ships, like La Corun~a and Vigo. These are probably

where people got their scallops. Also, despite the fact that

Compostella is in Galicia, which has a number of cultural

similarities to northern Portugal, the Portuguese border is way

to the south to Compostella, at the Rio Min~o.





clevin at rci.ripco.com

Craig Levin



From: Robert Huff <roberthuff at rcn.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pilgrim tokens

Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2001 20:53:28 -0400


Craig Levin wrote:

> Actually, Compostella de Santiago is quite some distance inland,

> although there are several harbors that traditionally take

> pilgrims' ships, like La Corun~a and Vigo.


        I couldn't find one with a scale, but a check of several maps

implies Santiago is maybe 25km from the western coast, and twice

that from the northern,  A nice day's walk, in good weather.


                                Diego Mundoz



From: Byron Whited <Byron05 at austin.rr.com>

Date: June 8, 2004 8:21:06 PM CDT

To: bryn-gwlad at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Bryn-gwlad] an interesting part of medieval culture (R-rated)


Below are some notes and links I collected about Medieval Pilgrim Badges,

based on the book "Pilgrimage Explored".   Any comments or links to web

pages on the subject welcome.


Pilgrimage Explored

Edited by J. Stopford

York Medieval Press

ISBN 0 95297343X


Lifting the Veil on Pligrim Badges

by A. M. Koldeweij

p. 167


"For academics the great value of religious and secular badges is that they

were cheap, mass produced items, worn by ordinary people. The surviving

examples represent aspects of those ordinary people's thoughts and beliefs.

The batdes as objects therefore provide a point of departure for broader

discussions. .


The situation is more problematic in the case of profane, secular material.

The badges themselves survive in an amazingly rich and intriguing assortment

of subjects and themes, with numerous variants and an ever-widening range of

representations. However unlike there religious counterparts there are far

fewer sources which relate to these badges. Although we have the actual

objects, we have no illustrations or descriptions of them, little or no

information about who produced them, what inspired them, who bought them or



There are then illustrations of various badges. The ones he classifies as

"religious" are like,


"Cockle-shell 1400-1450, pilgrim badge from Santiago de Compostela,

excavated at Nieuwlande, " and "Vera Icon badge from Rome. Stamped brass,

1475-1525, excavated Rotterdam." and "St. Anne pilgrim badge, from Duren.

Lead-tin, 1475-1525, excavated at Dordrecht."


Among the "profane, secular material" is shown images of a phallic symbol

with legs, and "Badge: crowned vulva as an archer on horseback, her crossbow

taut. Lead-tin, 1375-1425 found in Amsterdam."


And "badge: vulva-pilgrim with phallus staff and rosary, wearing a pilgrim's

hat and wooden pattens. Lead-tin, 1375-1425, found at Reimerswaal." "Badge:

female smith forging a phallus. Lead-tin fourteenth century, found at

Kondtanz, Fischmarkt."


P. 185


"Many of the erotic badges have been found alongside their more strictly

religious fellows. They have, also , been found in large numbers and cannot

be regarded as isolated, late-medieval curiosities. Because they are so

alien to modern European life they need to be placed within their own, now

extinct, tradition, and seen in a broad anthropological context."



I think that these badges can best be understood in the context of the

Medieval Rebus or Memory Pun.


I think these badges were not "secular" or "erotic" but were religious, the

reason I believe this is the medieval/renaissance love of the visual pun.


For example:


Leonardo Rebus'



Latin Rebus'



Another example, "doubtless you are aware of the medieval pun which

made Domini Canes (the Hounds of God) of Dominicans."


Puns were not just used in Europe but also in East Indian religious art:




See medieval "secular" badges here:



The one I found very interesting was described as:


"Medieval pewter erotic badge

Showing a vulva on stilts, crowned with 3 phallus.

Complete with pin."


Now for my interpretation of these. The big hint as to the meaning of the

vulva in these badges, is the fact that many are associated with Rosary

beads. That is devotion to the "Virgin". How better for a illiterate person

to show that they are devoted to the Virgin than to wear a literal virgin

body part?


Why all the phallus images? Here is the pun. Penis puns with penance.

Wearing the Penis image shows they were doing penance. The 3 phallus images

in the above badge is explained by:


"The fourth sacrament is penance. The

material, as we may say, consists in the acts of

penitence, which are divided into THREE parts. The

first of these is contrition of the heart, wherein the

sinner must grieve for the sins he has committed, with

the resolve to commit no further sins. Second comes

confession with the mouth, to which it pertains that

the sinner should make confession to his priest of all

the sins he holds in his memory. The third is

satisfaction for sins according to the judgment of the

priest, and this is made chiefly by prayer, fasting,

and almsgiving. The form of this sacrament consists in

the words of absolution which the priest speaks when

be says, "I absolve thee," etc. ; and the minister of

this sacrament is the priest, who has authority to

absolve either regularly or by the commission of a

superior. The benefit of this sacrament is absolution

from sins."

There are three parts to penance, represented by the three penis'.


Why the stilts?


Well, maybe it could represent the pilgrim as walking above the filth of the

earth, as:


"Scatches Stilts worn in the early sixteenth to

nineteenth centuries when walking in filthy places.

Without them, one might have been forced to pautch,

"walk uncomfortably through areas of deep mud." The

word scatches is based on the same Greek root as

eighteenth-century scatology, "the study of dung," and

the earlier scatomancy, "fecal fortune-telling." The

Dutch created the terms schaats and scatses, from Old

French eschasse, in the mid 1600s. Eventally these

words came to mean "(ice) skates," which were first

fashioned from the lower leg bones of cows."


But what about the badge: "Badge: female smith forging a phallus. Lead-tin

fourteenth century, found at Kondtanz, Fischmarkt."


Forging is work. Could the woman be doing "works of penance"? The pilgrimage

was a work of penance.


Any thoughts or suggestions welcome.





From: Fvigil at aol.com

Date: August 11, 2008 10:13:55 AM CDT

To: pewterersguild at yahoogroups.com

Subject: Re: [pewterersguild] Historical reference books?


sean.wales at comcast.net suggested::


Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges

Medieval Finds from Excavations in London

Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum

Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges

Heilig En Profann 2

Musee National du Moyen Age-Thermes de Cluny

Enseignes de Pelerinage et Enseignes Profanes



I'm just getting home from Pennsic so I'm a bit behind here.

If you are interested in pilgrimage badges, I highly recommend the first two books Sean mentioned. These are both by Brian Spencer, who was widely regarded as the foremost authority on pilgrimage badges.

Here are a few more suggestions for resource books:


* Dress Accessories, c.1150-c.1450

(Medieval Finds from Excavations in London)

  - Geoff Egan and Francis Pritchard

This is from the same collection as the first suggestion above. It covers things like buckles, buttons, belt mounts and brooches and is a pretty nice resource. It used to run about $100, but was finally reprinted and the price dropped to around $50. Amazon occasionally has it at pretty big discounts.

[Side note: The entire Medieval Finds from Excavations in London series (put out by the Museum of London) is pretty awesome. The series includes not only the two previous books, but books on Knives and Scabbards, Horse Equipment, Textiles, and possibly others. These are all great resources if you are interested in their fields.]



From: Fvigil at aol.com

Date: August 11, 2008 4:58:46 PM CDT

To: pewterersguild at yahoogroups.com

Subject: Re: [pewterersguild] Feeling a little dumb...


kandrinchae at hotmail.com writes:

>So what are Pilgrim badges?


   Here is a real short answer.  A bit of googling will turn up plenty more.


   Pilgrimage badges were genrally signs worn by pilgrims to show that they had completed a journey to a holy place such as Jerusalem or the shrine of a saint or martyr. The earliest such badges were things such as a cross of red cloth sewn to the clothing of a pilgrim to Jerusalem, or a sea-shell collected on the beach of Santiago de Compostella. But by the 13th Century, pewter tokens had begun to replace these items.


   These tokens could take a myriad of forms. Early on for example, a pilgrim to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket might have received a small pewter ampullae (bottle) containing water which had been mixed with the blood of the Saint. Later the badges began to generally take the form of flat pins which could be worn showing important images, or items from the holy site. For example, the same Shrine of Thomas Beckett began to be represented with badges  showing Beckett himself, or his murder weapon, and a variety of other forms; Campostella began to provide pewter sea-shells; A shrine to the Virgin Mary might have given a letter M with a crown indicating her as the Queen of Heaven; etc...


   Some examples can be found at http://billyandcharlie.com/index2.html or http://fetteredcockpewters.com/


   These badges were often touched to the holy relics at the pilgrimage site, or at least held up in view of those relics, and this was believed to have imbued them with a bit of the holy power. These badges were often brought back to sick family members, or to bring luck to a home or business.


   Additionally these badges were sometimes seen as signs of safe passage, or as a sign that one should grant extra hospitality to the pilgrim.


   Finally some have described them as the concert t-shirts of their day. When you get home from a concert you wear your new t-shirt to show all your friends that you got to go - similarly wearing the pilgrimage badge might have been seen as a way of showing off your pilgrimage to some far away place.





Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2008 13:07:18 +0900

From: Rebecca Lucas <quokkaqueen at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] Badges

To: <lochac at sca.org.au>


For extant pilgrim and secular badges, there is the Kunera database



Some articles about particular badges from Kunera




English badges




Karen Larsdatter's webpage has a section on hat badges:






From: Dan Towse <dantowse at btinternet.com>

Date: January 30, 2009 11:29:46 AM CST

To: <pewterersguild at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: [pewterersguild] Hundreds of Pictures of Badges


In case anyone is not aware of this resource,

 The University of Nijmegen Centre for Art History has a fabulous online
 collection of Pewter badges



Choose from either Profaan (Secular) or Religieus (Sacred)



From: Guillaume de Garrigues <guillaume at garrigues.net>

Date: January 31, 2009 6:59:25 PM CST

To: pewterersguild at yahoogroups.com

Subject: Re: [pewterersguild] Re: Hundreds of Pictures of Badges


Great site.  I added it to http://pewterersguild.org/Main/Links (other links you want to see there?  let me know...)


I noticed you can also browse the same site in (mostly) English, by using this link:






<<< The University of Nijmegen Centre for Art History has a fabulous online

collection of Pewter badges


http://www.let.kun.nl/ckd/kunera/ >>>


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org