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Hat Badge: Woman Choosing Between Youth and Old Age

Date:
ca. 1520
Culture:
probably Flemish (Malines)
Medium:
Gold, gold filigree and enamel
Dimensions:
Diam. 5.8 cm.
Classifications:
Jewelry, Precious Metals and Precious Stones
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.1524
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 951
During the Renaissance, hat badges were a common form of personal adornment worn predominantly by wealthy men to assert the wearer’s character. They often depicted religious or mythological subjects, portraits or heraldic devices. However, the unusual subject depicted here, shows an old man, at left, clasping the breast of the woman, at center, while she takes money from his purse with her right hand. Her left hand holds that of the young man, on the right. The inscription reads: AMOUR FAIT MONLT ARGENT FAIT TOUT (Love does much; money does everything).
Inscription: AMOUR FAIT MONLT ARGENT FAIT TOUT (Love does much; money does everything)
Dr. F. Rothman, Belsize Grove, London; [John Hunt, London]. Acquired by Philip Lehman from Hunt in September 1936.
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