Amulet to ward against the evil eye

Made:
1901-1911 in Devon
maker:
Unknown
Group shot of from left to right A665895 - Amuletic pendant, eye painted on shell in oval metal mount, glazed, with

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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

Amulet against evil eye, in form of oval piece of brown and white banded agate resembling eye, carried by fisherman, Lovett collection, from Devon, English, 1901-1911

Brown and white ringed agate resembles an eye and was carried by fishermen in Devon, England, to protect from 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.

The amulet was a gift to the Wellcome collection from Edward Lovett (1852-1933), a collector of British amulets and charms. The amulet is shown here with two others worn to protect against the evil eye (A665895 and A666110).

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A132526
Materials:
agate and complete
type:
amulet
taxonomy:
  • inorganic material
  • quartz
  • chalcedony
credit:
Lovett, E.R.