Copy of Lodestone believed to have been used by Queen Anne

Made:
1929 (copy); 1702-1714 (original) in England
maker:
Balch
Copy of Queen Anne's loadstone. Front view of object at an angle across image. White background

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Copy of Queen Anne's loadstone. Front view of object at an angle across image. White background
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Copy of Queen Anne's lodestone, mounted in metal, original used by her (1702-1714) in the ceremony of healing scrofula by touch.

Copy of Queen Anne's lodestone, mounted in metal, made in 1929. Lodestones are pieces of naturally magnetic iron oxide, which were believed to have healing properties. The original silver mounted lodestone is reputed to have been used by Queen Anne (1702–1714) during healing ceremonies. Anne objected to touching her subjects directly and instead used the stone. It was believed that the monarch’s power could heal tuberculosis of the skin known as the ‘King’s Evil’ or scrofula. The monarch’s power could be transferred to objects such as lodestones or touchpieces. The lodestone was reputedly given to John Rooper, one of Queen Anne's staff (deputy Cofferer), and was passed down three generations of his family before being sold at auction. The silver casing was added later to protect the family heirloom.

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A506
Materials:
iron, stone and tin
type:
lodestone