Medieval Pewter Carnival Brooches from Billy and Charlie

Collections of late medieval pewter brooches, especially those from the Netherlands, contain a number of items which are apparently depictions of proverbs or popular sayings, or which seem rather naughty or sometimes simply vulgar. No one knows exactly what the medieval buyers of these brooches were thinking, but some hint of their sense of humor lingers in these objects.

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Belt Fittings
 
Pilgrim Signs & Religious Goods
 
Brooches & Pendants
•   Decorative
•   Amatory
•   Heraldic
•   Martial
•   Hard to Explain
•   Charm Holders & Pendants
•   Carnival Brooches
•   More Carnival Brooches!
•   Custom Jobs

 
Household Goods, Toys, etc.
 
Billy and Charlie
 
Order Now!
 
Click on any image for a larger picture!
 
 
 
  Dickie Bird. Numerous examples of this motif have been found in Netherlandish and French contexts. Nobody seems to know why there are practically none in Britain.

Dickie Bird $5.00
1-1/4 x 1-3/8" or 33 x 34mm
# van Beuningen, no. 634-640

Louise appears here on stilts; in other brooches she is carried as an icon, is dressed as a pilgrim, and so forth, as you see below.

Louise $5.00
1-1/2 x 1" or 39 x 23mm
* van Beuningen, no. 661

 

  Chickens. The British collections of pewter brooches are noticeably lacking in the racy badges so prominent among Netherlandish finds. The chickens are the exception - numerous examples have been found, as in this brooch, copied from one now at Salisbury.

Chickens $5.00
1-3/8 x 1-5/8" or 36 x 40mm
* Salisbury, no. 302

Louise on Horseback. Louise appears in this c. 1400 brooch, ready for the hunt.

Louise on Horseback $5.00
1-3/8 x 1-3/8" or 35 x 35mm
* van Beuningen, no. 656

 

  The Louise on Pilgrimage. Our girl again, dressed as a pilgrim and ready to travel.

Louise on Pilgrimage $5.00
1 x 7/8" or 26 x 20mm
* van Beuningen, no. 665


El Rey del Braie. Two women are shown crowning a penis, which sticks up from a pair of 14th C. boxer shorts. This pendant reflects the general observation that the penis is a sort of a king. Copy of a Netherlandish original, first half of the 15th C.

El Rey del Braie. $5.00
2-1/2 x 1-3/1/4" or 63 x 37mm
* van Beuningen, no. 625

 

  Sexy Tree with Female Bird and Sexy Tree with Male Bird.

Sexy Tree with Female Bird or Sexy Tree with Male Bird $5.00 each
1-1/4 x 3/4" or 30 x 20mm
* van Beuningen, no. 623 and 624


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