A “rare” 15th Century silver badge worn by those loyal to King Richard III has been purchased by the Yorkshire Museum thanks to the generosity of local organisations and the general public.
The silver gilt livery badge in the form of a boar, a symbol of Richard III, was found by a metal detectorist in 2010 near Stillingfleet, North Yorkshire.
It is one of only a relatively small number ever found and because it is silver-gilt it would have once belonged to someone of high status.
An appeal by the Museum hoped to raise the £2,000 needed to buy the badge, but significantly more money was donated, allowing the museum to now conserve, research and display the badge in ways which previously would not have been possible.
The funds to purchase the badge were raised through local public donations. The Richard III Society also pledged £2,000 which will be used to professionally clean the badge, carry out further research and to create a display.
Natalie McCaul, assistant curator or archaeology, said: “We are thrilled that we are able to keep this rare badge in Yorkshire and for the public to enjoy. We could never have guessed how generous people would be and to get more than the requested amount shows the real interest there is in Richard III in Yorkshire.
“We would like to say thank you to all of those people who donated. “
The badge will be on display from Friday (September 22nd) for a short period, before it is professionally conserved.
The badge, which is 3.6cm by 2.9cm, depicts the white boar of Richard III, a symbol of King Richard III (1483-1485). Members of the king’s household wore cheap badges of stiffened cloth. Expensive precious metal badges were often gifted to wealthy and important supporters of the king. The badge is in need of conservation to remove dirt, but some of the details can still be made out, such as a large oval eye, the snout and the tusks.
Richard ordered that 13,000 boar badges be made for his son Edward’s investiture at York Minster in 1483, but despite this large number few have actually been found in this region.
The Yorkshire Museum hopes that clues to the owner of the badge could be found by looking at those with power and loyalty to Richard III living in the Stillingfleet area. This will be an area the museum will look at when research is carried out.