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Late Medieval; 15th century
Pilgrim badge depicting the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus Christ on her left-hand side. Mary wears a crown and holds a sceptre in her right hand. She stands on the back of a dove, which is facing right (the dove was a symbol of purity). The Virgin was thought of as the Queen of Heaven and a universal protector. Most churches had an image of the Virgin Mary as a focus for worship and some cult figures became pilgrimage sites, attracting visitors from beyond their local area. It is uncertain where this badge of the Virgin and Child was produced – there were many cults of Our Lady in medieval England and abroad. Several similar badges of the Virgin have been found in London, which suggests this badge may have been bought at a London-based shrine.
H 36 mm; W 15 mm
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