This information was last updated in 2004. The Tudors have not changed, but our understanding of them might!
The object is a belt chape. It was used to protect and decorate the end of a leather belt. The chape is made out of silver and would have been an expensive object.
Sir Ralph would have worn a sword belt - with a sheath for his sword attached to it - so perhaps the chape is from this. It is not clear exactly how it was attached to the belt as there are no fastenings. Perhaps it was just clamped to the end which might explain how Sir Ralph came to lose it!
The chape is made in a crescent shape and is decorated at either end with a rose and a pomegranate. The rose was the royal badge of King Henry VIII and the pomegranate that of his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. The chape must have been made after their marriage, but before Catherine fell out of favour.
In the centre of the crescent, you can see a little figure of St Barbara. She was the patron saint of armour makers. It was believed that St Barbara had the power to protect a person against gunpowder and sudden death. Using her as a decoration supports the idea that the chape was intended for a sword belt.