Pilgrim badge with St Wolfgang

Early 16th century

National Museum of Slovenia

National Museum of Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia

The figure of St Wolfgang stands in perforated low relief, in a late Gothic frame, dressed in a wide bishop’s cloak and wearing a mitre. He holds a carved bishop’s crozier and a carpenter’s adze in his left hand, and a model of a church in his right. The woman pilgrim kneeling in prayer on the left is unusual. Below is a relief inscription: S. WOLFGANG IM PIRG. Such badges with St Wolfgang were already popular by the late fifteenth century, and his cult spread greatly throughout Germany, Austria and Hungary in the sixteenth century. Worshippers believed that the saint could help those suffering from eye diseases, stomach pains, bleeding, paralysis, heart attacks, leg pains and gout. St Wolfgang’s day is 31st October. Pilgrim badges were usually cast in moulds of slate of soap-stone, occasionally of metal, made by goldsmiths or sealcutters. The reverse side was decorated with a plain pattern of diagonal or parallel lines.

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  • Title: Pilgrim badge with St Wolfgang
  • Date: Early 16th century
  • Date Created: Early 16th century
  • Location Created: Southern Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: h. 6.3 cm, w. 3.6 cm
  • Provenance: Ljubljanica river, Slovenia
  • Type: Badge
  • Rights: Narodni muzej Slovenije
  • Medium: Pewter