Devotional Badge

This badge lacks any indicators of a particular shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary, of which there were many in the British Isles, and is most likely a generic badge related to the growing popularity of the Virgin from the 12th century onwards. The cult of the Virgin was less reliant upon specific shrines than the cult of saints and many such badges functioned as a general devotional symbol and were much more freely available than pilgrim signs, which could only be obtained at the pilgrimage site. Much like the religious inscriptions on brooches of the 13th and 14th centuries it is likely that such badges were intended also to have an amuletic or protective function. The badge has no means of attachment and must have been sewn to clothing in the tradition of Scottish and Continental badges.
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320 x 150 mm
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South Ayrshire Council
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