Hat Badge: Woman Choosing Between Youth and Old Age

probably Flemish (Malines)

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).

Hat Badge: Woman Choosing Between Youth and Old Age, Gold, gold filigree and enamel, probably Flemish (Malines)

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