Object Image

Badge or Harness Pendant

Heraldry, or coat-of-arms, were vitally important in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Heraldic emblems were used to identify noble families, cities, regions, and even countries. In addition to being displayed on shields and flags, heraldry was incorporated into architectural decoration on the interior and the exterior of buildings, on furniture, works of art, clothing, and horse equipment. Harness pendants, like this example, would have been attached to a headstall, bridle, or other straps making up the tack of a horse ridden by a nobleman or noblewoman, or a member of their household. Many harness pendants also have decoration that is simply ornamental, or have symbols th...

c. 1400
Copper, gold, enamel
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection