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Amulet

  • Place of origin:

    Spain (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1899 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Piece of stag's antler mounted in silver

  • Credit Line:

    Hildburgh Gift

  • Museum number:

    M.14-1917

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 72, shelf D, box 8

Amulets were worn by men, women and children throughout southern Europe in the 19th century. Before the development of modern medicine, fevers, cramps and toothache could be painful and dangerous. Childbirth could kill mother or child. Many people believed that the supernatural powers embodied in an amulet could promote fertility and good health and offer protection against malign forces or the ‘evil eye’. Although the Catholic Church was opposed to the pagan nature of many amulets, it was powerless to prevent their use.

Amulets gain their power to protect from harm, or to attract good fortune, from their colour, pattern or material. Sharp objects, such as teeth or horns, were believed to have the ability to protect against the evil eye. This amulet was described by Dr Hildburgh, who gave it to the Museum, as used for protecting children against ‘the evil eye, etc’. Stag’s horn pendants were also considered effective against snake bites and animal wounds.

Physical description

Pendant amulet made from the tip of a stag's antler in a silver mount with toothed edge engraved with fine lines.

Place of Origin

Spain (made)

Date

1800-1899 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Piece of stag's antler mounted in silver

Dimensions

Length: 9.5 cm, Diameter: 2.1 cm

Descriptive line

Amulet of stag's antler mounted in silver, Spain, 1800-1899.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

'Catalogo de Amuletos del Museo de Pueblo Espanol', Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1987, no. 5,370, p. 76; no. 7,810 p. 82; no. 13,217 p. 133

Production Note

Worn against the evil eye

Materials

Silver; Antler

Subjects depicted

Stag

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Amulets

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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