Shield-shaped enamelled harness pendant

It’s always nice when something turns up that you have been hoping for some time you would find. Andrew Thompson said the find pictured here had been on his wish-list for 11 years prior to its discovery. It’s a shield-shaped enamelled harness pendant, which is likely to date from the 14th century.

The enamelled face has a chequer board pattern with two horizontal bars across. The colours are difficult to identify but Andrew said they were predominantly red and blue. I could not trace an exact match but the Cheine or Chenquy arms were very close.

These things seem invariably to be described as pendants for the harness furniture of a horse. However, as I’ve pointed out before, they could have been worn by retainers of landowners as a badge of office. The suspension loop on this pendant is broken but still attached. The enamel is a bit flaky but most of it is still intact, so the overall condition isn’t too bad.

I have found only one of these in 25 years of searching. When it came up it was covered in mud and I resisted the temptation to clean it up until I arrived home. However, when I eventually removed the mud the whole surface of the pendant had been eaten away by corrosion

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