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Home     Medieval pewter pilgrim badge 'Miracle Eurcharist Amsterdam'
Medieval pewter pilgrim badge 'Miracle Eurcharist Amsterdam'

Medieval pewter pilgrim badge 'Miracle Eurcharist Amsterdam'



Medieval pewter pilgrim badge 'Miracle Eurcharist Amsterdam'

Period: 1375-1425

Religious pewter badge, depicting the 'Miracle Eucharist of Amsterdam'. Two angels are holding a monstrance with the Holy Eucharist.

Condition: restored
Size: 4 x 3,5 cm

Ref: H.J.E. van Beuningen, 'Heilig en Profaan, 1000 laat-Middeleeuwse insignes', p. 142, afb. 119

Article code: 14-3605

Available: 0


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The theme of this badge is a miracle which took place in 1346 in the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam. "On the Tuesday before Easter, a dying man was given the last rites. A few hours later the man vomited the Eucharist while it landed in the hearth. The next day it was found, undamaged. A year later, Bishop Jan van Arkel declared the events to have been a miracle." This was the start of Amsterdam as a centre of pilgrimage. The house on Kalverstraat was demolished and replaced by a chapel, the 'Heilige Stede Kapel' - roughly where today's Rokin Plaza stands.



During the Middle Ages it was customary for pilgrims to bring back proof of their pilgrimage. As proof of their voyage to a particular shrine they returned with a badge, usually made of lead or pewter.
Most pilgrim badges show some figure or device, identifying it with the name or place of pilgrimage. Common shrines were at Santiago de Compostella (Spain), Canterbury (England), Cologne and Aachen (Germany) and of course Rome and Jerusalem.

Medieval pewter pilgrim badge from Santiago de Compostella (scallop)


A pewter badge from Santiago de Compostella with its 'trademark scallop'

A well known image from a pilgrim with a hat full of pilgrim badges
A well known image from a pilgrim with his hat full of pilgrim badges
When pilgrims returned, they proudly wore these badges fastened to their hat or cape. Examples can still be seen in some Medieval stained glass windows, drawings or paintings.
As well as being 'proof' of having made a pilgrimage (early souvenir), they also attached special value to the badge. Pilgrims believed that a badge that had touched a certain relic would offer protection against danger or sickness, or offer assistance that was needed (conception, childbirth, etc). The reason for a pilgrimage could vary from a punishment or doing penance to a special thanks or praying for help from a Saint.


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