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Home > Auctions > 25th February 2020 > Medieval Einsiedeln Monastery Pilgrim's Badge

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LOT 0610

GBP (£) 800 - 1,000
EUR (€) 940 - 1,170
USD ($) 1,040 - 1,300

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£720 (EUR 845; USD 939) (+bp*)

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Medieval Einsiedeln Monastery Pilgrim's Badge

14th century AD

A pewter pilgrim's badge representing the consecration of the Benedictine monastery in Einsiedeln, Germany, by Bishop Konrad of Constanta; pentagonal plaque with four fixing loops; Mary crowned and robed holding the infant Jesus sitting within a building with shingle roof and tower enclosing a standing bell-ringer holding two ropes; approaching figure outside with bishop's mitre and sceptre followed by a robed and winged angel holding a voided orb(?); blackletter inscription to the frame '* die * wicht * got * selb * mit * englen + dis * ist unser * frowen * cabell * reichen * von * ueisidelen*'. 18.5 grams (188 grams total), 73mm (3"). Very fine condition.

From an important private family collection; acquired on the European art market in the 1980s, and thence by descent.

This scene commemorates the consecration of the Benedictine monastery in Einsiedeln by Bishop Konrad of Constanta. On the night of 13th September 948 AD, the consecration of this chapel was to be ordained by Christ himself and his angel, and the bishop after arriving the next day at the temple heard the words 'Stand away, brother, God himself ordained the chapel'. In the literature on the subject, the characters described above are known as 'the type of ordination of an angel' (German: Engelweihe) and appear repeatedly in the form of casts on 15th century church bells. At the end of the 14th century Einsiedeln was one of the most important pilgrimage centres, where the first miracle was recorded in 1388 AD.