- Museum number
Fragment of a lead alloy pilgrim souvenir consisting of four pieces; the central piece is thought to imitate the bust reliquary of Becket (known as St Thomas' head) and the other three pieces are remnants of a micro-architectural surround. The bust shows Thomas wearing a mitre and chasuble, the former decorated with three fleur-de-lis and quatrefoils. The chasuble exhibits trefoils and foliate scrolls as well as naturalistic drapery folds. Along the base of the bust emerge ornate openwork vine scrolls. The frame is decorated with beading and hatched triangular motifs. This piece is associated with the shrine of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury.
- Production date
- 1320 - 1375 (circa)
Length: 88.65 millimetres (Bust)
Length: 83.21 millimetres (Large Fragment)
Length: 49.04 millimetres (Medium Fragment)
Length: 20.51 millimetres (Small Fragment)
Width: 45.81 millimetres (Bust)
Width: 19.25 millimetres (Large Fragment)
Width: 13.81 millimetres (Medium Fragment)
Width: 6.47 millimetres (Small Fragment)
- Curator's comments
- This example belongs to the earliest known group of heads of Becket surrounded by architectural canopies, which may have been made with reference to the head reliquary itself. Several hundred badges of this type survive from different moulds.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2019 14 Jan-28 Feb, Lichfield Cathedral, Pilgrimage and Prayer
2017-2018 2 Nov-8 Apr, BM Gallery 35, Living with gods
2011 23 June-9 Oct, London, BM, 'Treasures of Heaven'
2010-2011 17 Oct-6 Jan, Ohio, Cleveland Museum of Art, 'Treasures of Heaven'
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Martrydom of St Thomas à Becket 1170
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number