Unique ID: IOW-B00471

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find validated and published by finds advisers

An almost complete Late Medieval cast copper-alloy Saint Barbara pilgrim badge (c. 1400-c. 1500). The badge is in moulded relief at the front and largely flat at the rear. At the front the moulded design depicts a nimbed and draped Saint Barbara standing beside the tower in which she was imprisoned and holding in her left hand a palm branch symbolising her martyrdom. She holds a sacramental wafer in her right hand. The rear face of the badge is flat and has the remains of a soldered copper-alloy loop for attachment to a garment. A patina has not survived and some of the surfaces are covered in drab green copper-alloy corrosion products. Where the metal is visible it is a dull reddish colour. 24.8 x 18.9 x 7.5mm. Weight: 2.99g. A similar pilgrim badge has been recorded from Calbourne Parish, Isle of Wight. See Portable Antiquities Scheme find: IOW-2A0A40. Other similar finds on the database include: GLO-D4BD11, SUR-7865B6, NARC-B9F6E5, and SWYOR-7707F7. The Oxford Dictionary of Saints has the following description. '[St Barbara] was shut up in a tower by her father Dioscorus, so that no man should see her. None the less princes sought her hand in marriage. She became a Christian while her father was away and decided to live as a hermit in a bath-house he had built. Here she made the workman add a third window in honour of the Holy Trinity. In his fury at her becoming a Christian, he nearly killed her, but she was handed over to a judge who condemned her to death. Her father was struck by lightning and died. This was the basis of her patronage of those in danger of sudden death, first by lightning, and then by subsiding mines or cannon-balls. Hence, her patronage of miners and gunners. The first known representation of her is an 8th-century fresco at S. Maria Antiqua, Rome; she is found, often with the equally mythical Margaret of Antioch, on late medieval English screens and stained glass. Her usual emblem is a tower. The painting of her by Jan van Eyck in the museum at Antwerp is probably the most famous representation' (Farmer, D. H. 1978, 28 'The Oxford Dictionary of Saints'. Oxford: Clarendon Press).

Sub class: Saint Barbara

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: MEDIEVAL [scope notes | view all attributed records]
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: MEDIEVAL [scope notes | view all attributed records]
Date from: Circa AD 1400
Date to: Circa AD 1500

Dimensions and weight

Length: 24.8 mm
Width: 18.9 mm
Thickness: 7.5 mm
Weight: 2.99 g
Quantity: 1

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 21st November 2010

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Frank Basford - [ view all attributed records]
Identified by: Mr Frank Basford - [view all attributed records]

Other reference numbers

Other reference: IOW2010-1-706

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy [scope notes | view all attributed records]
Manufacture method: Cast [scope notes | view all attributed records]
Completeness: Incomplete [scope notes | view all attributed records]

A resized image of Medieval Pilgrim Badge (St. Barbara)

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Spatial metadata

Region: South East
County: Isle Of Wight
District: Isle Of Wight
To be known as: Isle of Wight

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector [scope notes]
General landuse: Cultivated land[scope notes]
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth greater than 0.25m[scope notes]

References cited

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Audit data

Created: Monday 22nd November 2010
Updated: Thursday 11th August 2011

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