Shell pendant painted with an eye

Made:
1850-1920 in Paris
Group shot of from left to right A665895 - Amuletic pendant, eye painted on shell in oval metal mount, glazed, with

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

Buy

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

License

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

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License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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Group shot of from left to right A665895 - Amuletic pendant, eye painted on shell in oval metal mount, glazed, with
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Amuletic pendant, eye painted on shell in oval metal mount, glazed, with suspension ring, possibly against sore eyes or evil eye(?), from Paris, French, 1850-1920

Hung from a necklace, the shell pendant painted with an eye and mounted in a metal frame on the right was used as an amulet to prevent eye infections or against the ‘evil eye’. The evil eye has been a widespread belief that some people can cause harm to others simply by looking at them in a certain way. This ‘look’ may be given deliberately, in an attempt to cause harm, or accidentally, perhaps because of feelings of envy . The harm may take the form of bad luck, illness or death.

This pendant came from the De Mortillet Collection and is shown here with two other amulets worn to protect against the evil eye (A132526 and A666110).

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A665895
Materials:
glass, metal and shell
type:
pendant folk medicine (general) and amulet, folk medicine (general) and pendant
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • costume
  • jewellery
credit:
Loan, Wellcome Trust