I am currently working on The Most Clement Order of the Toadstone. Here is a first sketch.
The toadstone, also known as bufonite, is a mythical stone or gem that was thought to be found in the head of a toad. It was supposed to be an antidote to poisonand in this it is not unlike batrachite, supposedly formed in the heads of frogs. Toadstones were actually the button-like fossilized teeth of Lepidotes, an extinct genus of ray-finned fish from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. They appeared to be “stones that are perfect in form” and were set by European jewellers into magical rings and amulets from Medieval times until the 18th century.
“Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.”
– William Shakespeare (As you like it 1599)
The toadstone is an unassuming “gemstone”, often naturally spherical, or semi-spherical, smooth cabochon. The stone is greyish brown and opaque.
The order of the toadstone is an award of the highest distinction for the most prominent researchers in the medical field. The insignia in gold, hanging from a gold and enamel Princely hat: is a compass rose/ cross with only the cardinal points in green enamel with a scale pattern. The center medallion is a simple circle of blue enamel and over which a golden toad with a toadstone studded in its back.