Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Medieval medallion found in baby shark in Malaysia
It is believed to be a medallion worn by the Portuguese soldiers, presumably as a divine protection, during their conquests in this part of the world in the 16th century. One side of the medallion is a profile of a woman's head with a crown and encircled by a halo and an inscription that is unclear. The other side is a crucifix with an engraved inscription that reads ANTONII.
Checks with a local historian revealed the head engraving could be that of Queen Elizabeth, the consort of King Denis I of Portugal during his reign from 1271 to 1336. Suseela said she immediately cleaned the medallion and preserved it in a box. “I bought two sharks from the wet market and was taken aback upon discovering the object inside the stomach of one of the fishes,” said the 47-year-old mother-of-two.
Suseela had wanted to prepare shark curry for her husband. “Finally, my husband decided not to eat the fish as the object seems to be a religious item,” she said. The medallion is 7.4cm long, 6cm wide and weighs 10g. “My husband feels it is a blessing for the family to have the medallion coming to our home from beneath the sea. We will always cherish it,” said Suseela.