THE race is on to save a rare 15th Century badge that was once worn by a nobleman to demonstrate his loyalty to King Richard III.

The silver gilt livery badge in the form of a boar, a symbol of Richard III, was found by a metal detectorist in 2010, near Stillingfleet, North Yorkshire.

Now, the Yorkshire Museum in York has launched an appeal to raise the £2,000 needed to buy the badge and ensure it goes on public display.

It must raise the cash by September or it could be sold on the private market to the highest bidder.

Richard III has close assocaitions with North Yorkshire, having lived at both Middleham Castle, in Wensleydale, and Sheriff Hutton Castle, near York.

The museum’s assistant curator of archaeology, Natalie McCaul, said: “This is an exciting and rare find and because of its connection to Richard III it makes it something very important to Yorkshire.

“We hope we can keep hold of it and put it on show to the public for them to enjoy.

“By keeping it in the museum’s collections we also hope we can find out more about it and perhaps discover more clues to who the actual owner was.”

Richard ordered that 13,000 boar badges be made for his son Edward’s investiture at York Minster in 1483, but despite this large number few have actually been found in this region.

Similar items found across the country are made of cloth or copper, but, for those of status, more precious metals would be used, such as silver in this instance. The badge measures 3.6cm by 2.9cm, and the white boar was a symbol of Richard III which was used by his household and followers between the 1470s and 1485.

Although in need of conservation to remove dirt, some of the details can still be made out, such as a large oval eye, the snout and the tusks.

The museum hopes that clues to the original owner of the badge could be found by researching details of those with power and who had loyalty to Richard III living in the Stillingfleet area.

􀁧 Donations can be made at the Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, York, or online at