To advertise their trade, pawnbrokers used to hang three gilt globes or spheres outside of their shop. Rumours abound that it came from Italy and the story of the Medici family…
The Medici family were moneylenders and one of their members fought a giant. In the legend, it is said that the giant was slain with three sacks of rocks. The sacks of rocks were then used as symbols in the Medici family crest and, eventually, they evolved into globes. Given the family’s links to moneylending, the globes were later used by pawnbrokers to signify their trade.
Medici or not, I am sure of one thing – I’m much happier hanging inside the Museum of Cambridge’s nice warm Dining Room than I ever was on the streets of Cambridge.
Adopt me now, and you’ll help me keep me, and all the objects in the Museum’s collection, safe and warm for centuries to come.