Medieval Pilgrim badge

Contributed by Perth Museum and Art Gallery

A medieval souvenir pilgrim badge from Amiens Cathedral

This pilgrim souvenir depicts the head of John the Baptist who was patron saint of Perth, Scotland in the middle agesThis circular badge depicts the head of John the Baptist, patron saint of Perth. It is of a type sold as souvenirs at the shrine of John the Baptist in Amiens cathedral, France. It is still intact, complete with four rings to enable the badge to be sewn onto the pilgrim's hat or cloak or tunic. It bears an inscription identifying it as the sign of John the Baptist. The back is decorated with a crucifix design.

The medieval church encouraged pilgrimage and pilgrims wanted to benefit from the power of the saints. This badge is evidence of a community of pilgrims living in Perth Scotland and travelling to shrines throughout Europe. In fact no medieval town in Scotland has a higher number of pilgrimage souvenirs than Perth.

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