Time period: Late 14th – early 15th Century
Product Dimensions: 2.0 cm width x 3.3 cm height
This badge depicts a vulva dressed as a pilgrim, complete with pilgrim’s hat and staff. Erotic badges such as this sem to have been quite popular in the middle ages and although their purpose is not clear, it is perhaps most likely they were regarded as a form of lucky charm. From early times it had been believed that indecent or ridiculous images attracted the eyes of evil spirits to themselves and thus away from the vulnerable, or, perhaps in the case of a badge, away from the wearer.
While some of bawdy badges are explicitly sexual, others seem to incorporate a certain amount of humour, and it is difficult not to imagine the medieval badge makers really letting their hair down with the designs of these badges and simply having some fun!
The original from which this replica was taken, was found in the Netherlands.