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Medieval St Thomas a Becket Figural Pilgrim Pewter Belt Set

Antiquities - Medieval

LOT 812

GBP (£) 200 - 300
EUR (€) 230 - 340
USD ($) 280 - 420
Additional Fees*

Sold for (Inc. premium): £1,035


Circa 15th century AD. A belt set comprising ten cast rectangular pewter links and the two-part hook-and-eye fastening; the links, some with the original iron linking rings, variously depicting crowned busts, mitred bishop's heads, horse heads and turretted towers, all within beaded frames; some with traces of gilding. Pewter, 65 grams total, height 31 mm.

Some links fragmentary but exceptional condition for excavated pewter of this era. Excessively rare (unique?).

Found Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerset (along the road between Muchelney Abbey to Burrow Hill) during building construction works.

The only published parallel for a pewter buckle/belt is that of a conventional buckle form and chain links from the Thames Exchange site, London. See Spencer, B. Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges, number 33.

The image of a mitred bishop's head is usually associated with Thomas a Becket and his shrine at Canterbury. In this context, the crowned bust is thus likely to depict Henry II, the king responsible for Becket's death. While pilgrim badges (pinned or sewn), bells, ampullae, triptychs, etc. are well known, there appears to be no documented instance of a pilgrim's belt. The firm provenance makes this item of exceptional interest.

Friday 18th March 2011 at The Swedenborg Hall Antiquities & Coins

TimeLine Auctions Ltd arranges printed catalogue rostrum Auctions, eAuctions and Timed Auctions where we offer antiquities, ancient artefacts / artifacts, antiques, collectibles, coins, medals and books for public sale.

Lot No. 812

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Auction Venue:
20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH

Viewing from noon Monday 19th February 2018
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Auction 032011

Friday 18th March 2011 at The Swedenborg Hall Antiquities & Coins

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