Order of the Dragon Cape Button, silver.
Provenance- Spanish, last quarter fifteenth century. Cape button of Pedro the Perforator.
An early portrait of Pedro by a little known Flemish master, possibly of the Memling school shows Pedro resplendent in a purple velvet cape, shot through with gold thread, a lining of midnight blue silk with an ermine trim, fastened at the neck with a large silver button sporting a rampant dragon. Always a bodacious dresser, this vicious dandy had his head separated from his neck in 1492.
Silver Wolf Button
Provenance- French, mid-fifteenth century. Cloak button of Jean le Tueur Loup, Wolf Killer Pursuivant, fashioned from a silver bullet fired from an arquebus.
Jean was awarded the title of Wolf Killer Pursuivant after slaying a huge man-eating grey wolf that terrorised the province of Gévaudan for eighteen months. Responsible for the grisly deaths of as many as 112 people, most of them women and children, human remains were found in the belly of the wolf when it was slit open.
An unfortunate aside to this tale is that an innocent woods-dwelling hermit was burned to death by frightened and superstitious villagers after they extracted a confession from him under torture in a ‘werewolf trial’. It was only when the slaughter continued that they concluded there were probably two werewolves responsible…