ENGLISH CHRISTIAN PILGRIM’S BADGE, 14TH-15TH CENTURY AD
Circular, about 5/8” diameter. White metal, probably a tin-lead pewter alloy. The front featuring a symmetrical cross with expanded tips based on 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. The back with a cross with pips alternating with the beams, resulting in an eight-point figure based on the wheel of fortune, a superstition descending from Roman mythology. The top with a flared thickened end tubular bail, with small stringing hole for wire, for suspension, intact. 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.