During the medieval period the wearing of brooches was very fashionable, they were used to pin neck fasteners and create decorative folds in clothing. Alphabet brooches symbolised the wearer’s initials or affiliation to a particular cause, much like the incriminating ‘A’ of The Scarlett Letter. These brooches were often worn during periods of mourning, purposing as a form of commemoration; wearing the initials of those that passed. Sometimes termed ‘sweetheart brooches’, letter shaped brooches also functioned as tokens of affection, a symbol of love – wearing your lover’s initials – similar to a modern day promise ring or initial necklace.
Medieval brooches like this one were usually made from cast or wrought bronze, iron and brass.