Vintage Brittany Coat of Arms Medallion, Solid Sterling Silver
This outstanding vintage Brittany coat of arms medallion is quite substantial in size and punchmarked on the loop for silver purity. On the front is an ornate depiction of two ermines with the mantels of the arms (as it appears on the Castle of the dukes of Brittany in Nantes, France. The ermine, or stoat, as an animal became the badge of John IV at the end of the 14th century. It appeared later on numerous locations, including churches and castles. According to legends, Anne of Brittany was hunting with her court when she saw a white ermine who preferred to die than to cross a dirty marsh. This episode would have inspired the duchess' motto : "Potius mori quam foedari" ("rather death than dishonour"). The motto has later been reused by Breton regiments, local World War II Resistants and cultural movements. The sculptural font along the bottom translates to " Brittany has my life".
- weight 27 grams (quite substantial)
- punchmarked on the loop
- 1.50" x 1.37" (including the loop and bail)
- circa 1950-1960
- Floats from a new 19 inch sterling silver chain