Beggars’ Bowl with a Gourd, anonymous, c. 1566

Beggars’ Bowl with a Gourd, anonymous, c. 1566

forging, h 7.4cm × l 9.0cm More details

When in 1566 nobles begged the governor, Margaret of Parma, to halt the persecution of the Protestants, someone reassured her with the words: ‘Fear not, my lady, they are nothing but beggars,’ called ‘gueux’ in French. The dissenting nobles immediately adopt the negatively meant geus as a badge of honour. Their symbols are the beggars’ bowl and pouch. Some of these bowls are fairly luxurious and were reserved for that reason.

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