Silver gilt belt chape: early 15th century
© Museum of London
Full image caption
Silver-gilt belt chape with incised and caste relief decoration. Chapes were covers for the ends of belts. This example is silver and was once covered in gold. Around the edge are a Tudor rose engraved on the left and a pomegranate on the right, the badges of Henry VIII and his wife Katherine of Aragon, a gilded figure of St Barbara in the centre and an inscription: +RAF+FEL+MIGHAM. This sword chape was worn by Ralph Felmingham, Sergeant at Arms for Henry VIII. The royal symbols may mean it was commissioned by the king, perhaps given to Felmingham as a New Year gift. It was found on the Thames foreshore at Vintry. There doesn't seem to be a way of attaching the chape to the belt, apart from slotting it on – this may be why the chape was lost.
1501 AD - 1535 AD