Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges

May 2010
332 black and white illustrations
362 pages
24.4x18 cm
Medieval Finds from Excavations in London
ISBN: 9781843835448
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, ANT011000

Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges

Brian Spencer

An exceptional reference work to pilgrim and secular badges of the middle ages.
This is the first major catalogue in English devoted to medieval badges. These fascinating objects provide us with a guide to the popularity of different cults and pilgrim centres, supplying evidence of the sometimes arduous journeys not only to famous and far-off sanctuaries like Compostela, but to native shrines such as that of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury, or the tombs of local, unofficial saints. Often mass-produced and sold in tens of thousands, pilgrim souvenirs offer pointers to fashion in contemporary precious jewellery. The secular badges include a wealth of non-religious imagery, playful and amatory, satirical, celebratory and heraldic. Illustrating nearly 800 items of popular medieval jewellery, the catalogue contained within the book describes previously unpublished finds retrieved from datable archaeological London waterfront deposits, and provides the basis of a chronological framework for future excavations.

BRIAN SPENCER was the Senior Keeper at the Museum of London, with special responsibility for the Museum's collection of medieval everyday objects.


[A] valuable volume. MEDIAEVISTIK

The need for more copies of this invaluable reference work in the wake of the success of the Portable Antiquities Scheme is evident. MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY

It is good to see that these riches - long concealed in the layers of mud beneath our capital city - have been excavated, restored and put on view. THE ART NEWSPAPER

[reviewed together with 'The Medieval Household'] Republication of two volumes from the essential Medieval Finds from Excavations in London series, both from 1998, is very welcome. Print quality is excellent, and Boydell has hardbacked them, wise for reference books guaranteed a long life. BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGY

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