Jean or Jehan Pucelle
In the Middle Ages, burgher confraternities organized hospitality for the “Jacquets”, pilgrims who were walking to the tomb of the apostle St. James in Compostela, Spain. A church and a hospital with nearly 40 beds were built for this purpose in Paris on Rue Saint-Denis between 1319 and 1323. The die for the seal of the guild of St. James pilgrims was the work of the illuminator Jean Pucelle. Discovered in 1852 near the Pont au Change during work on the Seine infrastructure, it was acquired shortly after by the famous collector Julien Gréau and entered the Carnavalet Museum collections in June 1885.
Standing and wearing a pilgrim’s outfit, St. James is shown in majesty at the center of the seal. Two angels hold his halo and point to the pilgrims kneeling at his sides. The pilgrims are members of the Paris confraternity, who had the habit of wearing pilgrim outfits when they participated in the solemn procession on July 25, St. James Day.