Time period:14th – 15th Century
Origin: Salisbury, England
Product Dimensions: 33 x 48mm
Ampulla of scallop shell form with heraldic cross upon a shield on reverse. Ampullae were miniature holy water flasks. They would be purchased at a shrine, filled with holy water and the top crimped shut. They were then carried home to await a time when the waterï¿½s miracle working powers could be put to good use, to cure a sickness for instance. The water from Canterbury, it was claimed, contained the blood of Becket. It is easy therefore to appreciate the importance to medieval minds of this type of souvenir. They were usually worn either sewn to the hat or suspended around the neck.
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