This is a fascinating little badge that measures 2 1/4″ x 1 ½.” It depicts the medieval city of Feldkirch in the west Austrian state of Vorarlberg, on the border with Switzerland and Liechtenstein. According to Wikipedia “the beautiful medieval town, which remains well preserved to this day, was mentioned as a city for the first time in 1218, after Count Hugo von Montfort built the “Schattenburg,” a castle that still is the major landmark of Feldkirch. Other sights in the town include the cathedral of St. Nikolaus from the late Gothic period.” The badge is made of gold-toned metal (probably brass) and is rectangular. It is decorated in high-relief images of the area that have been painted with multicolored enamel.
The badge’s obverse is divided into three sections. The top section depicts a view of the city from the nearby mountains. It is nestled in a valley with snow-capped peaks in the distance. Its medieval nature is easily apparent from its buildings’ architecture, which is depicted in gold and copper tones, with green hills, a blue sky and the snowy mountains. The badge’s bottom section has the words FELDKIRCH over VORARLBERG in brass against a red enamel background. It is the middle section that is the most interesting. This section is cut out, with another section on a sliding piece of metal behind it. The sliding section is divided into four parts, each featuring one of the city’s best known sights. These include the Churertop, an elaborate medieval gate into the old city section; the Katzenturm (Cat Tower), another imposing structure; the Schattenburg Castle atop a grassy hilltop looking down into the city; and city’s Marktstrasse (market street) surrounded by tall old buildings. This is all rendered in multicolored enamel. It slides up and down by pressing on little handles on either side of the badge.
The reverse is dominated by the figure of a woman in black and white medieval dress on the left, against a background showing a white cloud drifting across a blue sky, with a lake and what appears to be the St. Nikolaus Cathedral in the distance. The woman is standing in a green field with white and red flowers and a green tree behind her. A section beneath this depicts a white flower (possibly edelweiss) beside a blue flower and what appears to be the city’s red enamel shield.
The badge has a square jump “ring” at its top. It is just as pretty and sweet as it can be. We cannot date it exactly, but its workmanship appears to be 20th Century, probably early on. It is simply wonderful.