Byzantine pilgrims badge / plaque with incised cross and inscription


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ITEMPilgrims badge / Plaque with incised cross and inscription with original suspension chain
PERIOD5th – 8th Century A.D
DIMENSIONS95 mm x 80 mm (without chain), 140 mm x 80 mm (with chain)
CONDITIONGood condition
PROVENANCEEx American private collection, acquired before 2000s

The Pilgrims’ Badge, also known as a Pilgrims’ Plaque, typically refers to a small, portable devotional object that was popular among pilgrims during the medieval period. These badges were often made of materials like lead alloy or pewter and were adorned with various religious symbols, including incised crosses and inscriptions. Pilgrims would acquire these badges as souvenirs during their journeys to holy sites or shrines. The badges served both as tangible mementos of the pilgrimage experience and as symbols of religious devotion. The incised cross on the plaque likely held significant religious meaning, representing the pilgrim’s commitment to their faith, while inscriptions could include prayers, names of saints, or details about the pilgrimage destination.

These Pilgrims’ Badges were an essential aspect of medieval Christian pilgrimage culture, reflecting the widespread practice of journeying to sacred sites as an act of religious devotion. Pilgrims would attach these badges to their clothing or belongings, displaying them proudly as a testament to their spiritual journey. The badges played a role in fostering a sense of community among pilgrims, as they could also serve as a form of identification among fellow travelers who shared similar religious pursuits.