Pilgrim badge of Mary, Eve and the Tree of Life

Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By SA2.0
Object type: Pilgrim Badge
Period: Medieval
Primary material: Copper alloy
Date found: 19/11/2023
Location: North Kesteven, Lincolnshire

Description

A 15th century pilgrim badge. The scene being depicted is uncommon which makes this a Find of Note.

Tree of Life and Death Flanked by Eve and Mary-Ecclesia

The design bears a close parallel with this work by Berthold Furtmeyr in 1480 in a missal created for the Archbishop of Salzburg.

On the right side of the pilgrim badge is a naked figure and on the left a robed figure, possibly with a halo. Between them is a tree with a snake.

The two figures are, therefore, Eve and Mary respectively with the Tree of Life between them. It presents Eve as the mirror image of Mary: ‘Eve cause of all sin; Mary cause of merit