A rare medieval silver-gilt crozier and jewelled ring that were discovered during emergency repairs to the ruins of Furness Abbey in Cumbria will go on display at the Abbey over the May bank holiday weekend (Friday 4 – Monday 7 May 2012). The head of the crozier or staff is decorated with gilded silver medallions showing the Archangel Michael defeating a dragon.
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Medieval abbot and insignia found at Furness Abbey. An initial examination of his skeleton, indicated that he was probably between 40 and 50 years old when he died. Like many monastic burials of middle-aged and older men, he had a pathological condition of the spine often considered to be associated with obesity and mature-onset diabetes. The grave – which could date to as early as the 1150’s – also included the decorated crozier and a gemstone ring.
Brigandine, leather, Paris, late 1400's | Flickr. Unlike armour for the torso made from large plates, the brigandine was flexible, with a degree of movement between each of the overlapping plates. The rivets, or nails, attaching the plates to the fabric were often decorated, being gilt, or of latten, and sometimes embossed with a design. Medieval brigandines were essentially a refinement of the earlier coat of plates, which developed in the late 12th century.