One of the most interesting surviving badges from Chartres
is this one, published by Brian Spencer as his badge
number 239b :
(Click on the image for a larger view.)
Here is the text of Brian Spencer's careful and erudite description of this badge.
The "mirror" image of this badge may be seen here.
The obverse contains an inscription, the left and right parts of which Brian Spencer transcribes as "CARNOT[ENSIS]" and "MARIE." However, if we "mirror" and rotate them for easier reading, we find :
From which it is clear that we are dealing here with a mold cutter who is not particularly comfortable with engraving inscriptions : not only is the "N" in "CARNOT" backwards (or, forwards, in the original badge, in which case the rest of the word is backwards), but the "R" and the "T"s are rather clumsily drawn and, above all, on the left side, what should be "MARIE" (as Spencer optimistically transcribes it) is, in actuality, "MARTE".
One possibility is that the image in Spencer's catalogue is printed in reverse, but, either way, clearly the complexities of engraving even a simple Latin text, much less such a text in reverse, in a mold for something which is to be cast from it, is rather beyond the powers of this particular mold maker. This is certainly not surprising, considering, for example, the clumsiness of his compositions and the crudeness of his representations generally, especially his figure style.
The apparent reversal of the image of the "coin" on the reverse of this badge is thus perhaps a bit more understandable : reproducing, in reverse such a complex, non-referential, essentially abstract design was well off the radar screen of this craftsman.
Brian Spencer, Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges: Medieval Finds from Excavations in London. London: Stationery Office, 1998, p. 234, no. 239b.