Shamrock amulet

1914-1918 in United Kingdom

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Science Museum Group Collection
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Amulet, tin and copper(?), shamrock, probably 1918

The carrying of ‘lucky charms’ – as protective amulets against ill health and physical danger – has a long history in many cultures around the world. Shamrocks, especially five-leaved shamrocks, are considered particularly lucky. This tin and copper shamrock has the word “Ypres” engraved on the surface. Ypres is a city in Belgium and focus of some of the most intense fighting throughout the First World War. The shamrock is believed to have been worn by a British soldier fighting in the trenches.

The amulet was bought for the Wellcome collection in 1930 from Edward Lovett’s (1852-1933) collection of British amulets and charms. Lovett was a collector who documented different medical traditions and beliefs.

On display

Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Related people


Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
copper, ? material and tin
Lovett collection

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