Chartres Tunic, France

Transferred from the Wellcome Institute in 1985; 1985.52.2302
This tiny white metal pilgrim’s souvenir from Chartres, France, is imprinted with the words ‘CETTE STE CHEMISETTE BENITE A CHARTRES A TOUCHE LE PRECIEUX VETEMENT DE LA STE VIERGE’ (‘this holy tunic blessed at Chartres has touched the precious clothing of the Virgin Mary’) on the reverse.
According to legend, Charles the Bald (823877) gave a tunic to Chartres Cathedral in 876. The tunic was said to be the Sancta Camisa, a holy relic worn by the Virgin Mary when she gave birth to Jesus. It became associated with many miracles at Chartres, and pilgrims travelled from afar to venerate the tunic and the Virgin Mary.
The production of metal pilgrim’s souvenirs began in the Middle Ages, when pilgrimage was at its height. At Chartres, little medals and badges made of lead or tin were stamped with the image of the holy tunic and sold in the Cathedral cloister. Vendors were allocated a stall and cupboard, for which they paid an annual sum.
Connected Objects: Black Madonna

Artisans of Memory

Behind the scenes of an amulets project

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