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£2,000 drive launched to keep rare badge in York
MUSEUM officials are trying to raise £2,000 in two months, to keep a 15th century Royalist badge in York.
The Yorkshire Museum has launched an appeal so it can buy a rare silver badge, found two years ago by a metal detectorist near Stillingfleet, between York and Selby.
The silver gilt livery badge is in the form of a boar, a symbol of Richard III, and is thought to date to 1483, when Richard ordered that 13,000 be made to commemorate his son Edward’s investiture at York Minster.
If the museum does not raise the cash by September, the badge could be sold privately, and the museum is now seeking public donations.
Natalie McCaul, the museum’s assistant curator or archaeology, said: “This is an exciting and rare find and because of its connection to Richard III it makes it something very important to Yorkshire. We hope we can keep hold of it and put it on show to the public for them to enjoy.
"By keeping it in the museum’s collections we also hope we can find out more about it and perhaps discover more clues to who the owner was.”
A museum spokesman said the badge, which measures 3.6cm by 2.9cm (about an inch and a half by an inch), needed conservation work to remove dirt, but said some details could already be made out, including a large oval eye, snout and tusks.
The white boar was a symbol of Richard III and was used by his household and followers between the 1470s and 1485.
Despite so many badges being made in 1483, few have been found in Yorkshire. Similar items have been found elsewhere, made from cloth or copper, but the silver one is believed to have belonged to someone of higher standing.
The museum hopes clues to who owned the badge may be found by looking at loyalists with power in the Stillingfleet area at the time.
Donations to the appeal can be made at the museum in Museum Gardens, York, or online at www.yorkshiremuseum.org.uk