Badge, Pewter, St. Catherine

According to tradition, Catherine of Alexandria was a Christian virgin saint who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan emperor Maxentius.  Having successfully debated theology against a plethora of pagan philosophers,  she was subsequently scourged and imprisoned. Refusing to abandon her faith or marry the emperor, Catherine was condemned to death on the spiked breaking wheel, but, at her touch, this instrument of torture was miraculously destroyed. Maxentius finally had her beheaded.

The story of St. Catherine of Alexandria featured in many collections of the lives of the saints written in the medieval period including The Golden Legend of 1260. Like many other fourth century virgin martyrs such as St. Blaise, Catherine's cult and shine enjoyed great popularity throughout the Middle Ages. She is often depicted with St. Barbara flanking the Virgin Mary. Catherine's shrines stretched from London and Rouen to Mount Sinai, the remotest of medieval shrines. The most prominent Western shrine was the monastery in Rouen that claimed to house Catherine's fingers. Badges of Catherine often depict a crowned woman holding a wheel, for her suffering, a book for her learning and a palm frond representing her martyrdom. Often, just the wheel is used and "Catherine Wheels" were worn by her devotees all across Europe. She was particularly popular with students, spinners, potters and wheelwrights. She is the patron of scholarly - and disputatious - women. Her feast day was November 25th until it was struck from the official Church calendar in 1969.


Badge depicts the saint with a spiked wheel and open book.  Similar badges can be found in the van Beuningen collection in Rotterdam (Inv. 0069, 1375-1425) and the Cluny in Paris  (Cluny, no.159; Lamy-Lassalle, C. "Recherches sur un Ensemble de Plombs Trouves dans la Seine", Rev. Soc. Sav. Hte-Normandie, Lettres et Sciences Humaines, no. 49, 1968, 5 ff., fig. 5)


Badge is flat and may be stitched onto a hood, hat or pouch


Approx 5cm tall,  4cm wide


Individually hand cast in lead free pewter.

Historical Accuracy Rating


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  • Model: SL-FC10
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25lbs

This product was added to our catalog on Friday 12 July, 2013.