Hat Badge with a Roman Warrior

Depicting the bust of an ancient Roman warrior in a niche, this badge resembles the decoration on prominent new buildings of the day, such as Henry VIII’s palace at Hampton Court, completed in the 1520s. This small-scale sculpture was probably originally enameled, similar to the badge of St. John the Baptist on view nearby, which would have made it more conspicuous and underscored its three-dimensionality. The portrait of Richard Southwell includes an enamelled hat badge of similar form to this example.

Unknown maker, English
Hat Badge with a Roman Warrior, Possibly an Emperor, ca. 1530–40
Gold, embossed and chased
Victoria and Albert Museum, London; 630-1884

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London