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  • Place of origin:

    Britain (possibly, made)
    Spain (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1650-1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Lord Zouche

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Amulets were widely used throughout Catholic Europe, from the 17th to the early 20th century, to protect their wearers from all kinds of physical and spiritual dangers. Children were considered particularly vulnerable, and their parents often attached amulets to their clothing or hung them over their cradles. Many 17th-century portraits of aristocratic Spanish children survive showing them wearing numerous amulets suspended from their waists.

This amulet was described as British, and said to have been found in a hedgerow, when it was acquired by the V&A in the early 20th century. It is very similar to surviving 17th-century Spanish amulets and may well be Spanish in origin.

Physical description

Amulet made from a tube of silver curved into a crescent, with a hollow bead in the centre at the lowest point. One end of the tube is a whistle, and the other is shaped like a mount for a missing object, with triangular teeth, and a strip of twisted wire round its base. There are three bells hanging from the lower edge of the tube, one at each end and one from the central bead. The tube is suspended from a ring by three lengths of chain.

Place of Origin

Britain (possibly, made)
Spain (possibly, made)


1650-1700 (made)



Materials and Techniques



Height: 10.0 cm, Width: 7.2 cm, Depth: 1.8 cm

Descriptive line

Silver pendent crescent amulet with a whistle and bells, Britain or Spain, 1650-1700.

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

For similar, see:
Gonzalez, Luisa Abad, 'La Coleccion de Amuletos del Museo Diocesano de Cuenca', Cuenca, 2005, ISBN 848427411X, pp.22, 80, 85, 93, 149-151




Jewellery; Metalwork; Amulets; Traditional jewellery (Europe)


Metalwork Collection

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