20 September 2013

Medieval caption contest

The blank ribbon at the top of this wooden panel (France, about 1520-30) seems to cry out, to our modern eyes, for some lettering - any suggestions?

The scene looks straightforward enough - a thief has been apprehended and the stolen plates are tumbling about. These sorts of panels were often put on houses as a sort of warning - it was a largely illiterate age, words would have been superfluous.

The rich man (note the purse on his belt) seems to be some sort of pilgrim, from the cockle-shell badge on his chest.

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