Medieval Silver Gilt Livery Badge Earl of Essex Bourchier Knot
This badge is made from solid silver, with a wonderful honey yellow mercurial gold gilding. It would have once been worn on a chained collar, by a retained knight in the Earl of Essex's household. Such badges were used to identify allegiances important during the Wars of the Roses. Richard having his knights wear the White Boar badge, the Duke of Buckingham's men wore the Stafford Knot, the Black Bull for the Duke of Clarence etc.
Silver livery badges are rare, most being of tin, bronze or pewter. Silver was generally worn by aristocratic class, namely knights in service to the King and Earl. Also, the loop on the back can only be worn on a chain of office, most other liveries are simply sewn onto clothing or worn in hats. This is a perfect example, in excellent excavated condition.
OBJECT: Livery Badge
DATE: c. 1420 - 1480 A.D.
MATERIAL: Silver Gilt
SIZE: 18.58mm x 13.98mm x 8.06mm (with loop) 2.33 thick.
WEIGHT: 2.5 grams
PROVENANCE: Private collection Coventry, originally found in Gloucestershire 1992.