British Museum guidebook, £3.50
Length: 32.000 mm
Acquired through the
P&E MLA 2003.5-5.1
Room 40: Medieval Europe
The Chiddingly Boar
England, late 15th century
Found at Chiddingly, East Sussex, England, in 1999
In 1999, a metal detectorist discovered this small boar. It is made of silver and was once gilded. The remains of a setting for a pin on its back suggest that it was intended to be worn on a hat.
We believe that the cap-badge belonged to a supporter of Richard III (reigned 1483-5), Shakespeare's infamous 'crookback'd' king. The wild boar was Richard III's symbol and court records tell us that thousands of badges in this shape were made as souvenirs of Richard's coronation in 1483, and also for the ceremony crowning his son as Prince of Wales. Most of the badges were made of cheap bronze or pewter. This silver cap-badge, on the other hand, was probably a present to an important nobleman, who lost it by accident.
From the collection of the British Museum
Richard Hobbs, Treasure: Finding our past (London, The British Museum Press, 2003)