Triple hazelnut amulet

Made:
1901-1916 in England
maker:
Unknown
Group shot of A132541 - Large tooth, possibly dogs, in pink and blue silk bag, amuletic, to cure toothache, Lovett

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Group shot of A132541 - Large tooth, possibly dogs, in pink and blue silk bag, amuletic, to cure toothache, Lovett
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Amulet consisting of triple hazelnut, carried as cure for toothache in Wiltshire, Lovett collection, English, 1901-1920

The growing influence of biomedicine in the 1800s did not necessarily replace established forms of treatment based on belief and superstition. What could be referred to as folk medicine – customs that often went back generations – continued to be practised. For example, unusual triple and double hazelnuts were carried in the pocket as a cure for toothache. The hazelnut looks like a row of teeth and it was hoped that the pain of toothache would be transferred to the nut.

The triple hazelnut was a gift to the Wellcome collections in 1916 from Edward Lovett (1852-1933), a collector of British amulets and charms. It is pictured here with four other amulets against toothache: two large animal teeth (A132477 and A132541) and two stones (A132503 and A132474).

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A132536
type:
hazelnut
taxonomy:
  • plant material
  • fruit
  • dry fruit
  • nut - plant material
credit:
Lovett, E.R.