Phallic animal with a little house on its back
Badges of phallic animals have been found in many shapes and sizes, so far about 250 of them. The vast majority was found in the Netherlands, most of them in the province of Zeeland and the city of 's-Hertogenbosch.
18 examples of badges with sexual organs have been found in Belgium, 25 in Paris 25, and 7 in Valenciennes. Over 2500 badges have been found in London, but only 4 of them depict phallic animals. The concentration of badges depicting phallic animals in the Netherlands is striking.
The current badge is unique. It was found in Ieper/Ypres (B.). Phallic animals often wear a bell around the neck. The bell can be compared to the bells domesticated animals wear: the sound warns that it is approaching. The special feature of this animal is the little house on its back with a bird on top. On the corners is one upright and, so it seems, one hanging phallus. The bird is a clear reference to the Dutch word 'vogelen' which is a euphemism for having sexual intercourse. The upright and the hanging phalluses may indicate the fact that it’s all in the game: sometimes you have good days and sometimes less so.
Why the bird and both phalluses sit on a house on the back of a phallic animal is not clear. Perhaps the structure on the animal's back is a reference to elephants that were often depicted in the Middle Ages with tower-like structure on their backs where people could sit while they were being transported.
Collection of Paul Callewaert (Kunera no. 25316)