What Is On That Comb?!?

The decoration of "leaves" on what was thought to be a medieval pilgrim badge of St Blaise was actually something else!

Rather than leaves, as described in 1908 at the Museum of London, the decoration actually consists of a wavy line which connects four phalluses. (photo)  Phallic decoration is nothing new, but this escaped the experts until now.

Meriel Jeater, the curator who discovered the true identity of the decoration, consulted with a colleague to investigate whether the medieval word for "comb" might mean something else as well.  It turns out that the Anglo-Norman word could mean just "comb" but also "penis", "pubes" or "groin".

Jeater's blog contains articles on myriad other topics along with photos - another medieval badge, ice skates, fraudulent dice - and many other topics from the Museum of London.