Necklet to cure throats, Acton, London, England, 1914
Amulets and charms worn or carried to prevent and cure illnesses are found in virtually every culture throughout the world. This necklace, which was supposed to protect the wearer from ‘sore throats’, was bought in Acton, London, in the early years of the twentieth century. It may well have been brought for a child and the reference to ‘sore throats’ may refer to diphtheria which was then a highly dangerous and greatly feared disease of childhood.
The use of such amulets was often strongest in poorer communities, whose access to more conventional healthcare could be limited and whose ancestral links to folk medicine were stronger.