Show Summary Details

Page of

 Printed from Grove Art Online. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 13 November 2019

Pilgrim badgelocked

  • Brian Spencer


Brian Spencer

Emblem, usually made of metal, on sale at pilgrimage sites to celebrate the saint or devotional object venerated there. The badges were usually worn in the hat, attached by pins or stitching rings that were cast in one piece with them. Their use flourished in the Middle Ages in Europe, particularly in the 14th and 15th centuries, but declined after the Reformation of the mid-16th century. In Catholic countries, however, the production of medallions for pilgrims continued at some shrines thereafter, in a few instances until the present day. Despite their fragility, several thousand medieval badges have been excavated or recovered from riverbeds across the whole of Europe since the early 19th century. These still represent only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of souvenirs that were sold at some shrines every year. In 1466, for example, 130,000 badges were sold in a fortnight at the Swiss monastery of ...

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Please subscribe to access the full content.