Copper plaque stamped with a Latin cross for protection against cholera

1900-1909 in Russia

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Top - A666123, Copper plaque stamped with Latin cross, used as protection against cholera, Russian, 1900-1909. Bottom -
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Copper plaque stamped with Latin cross, used as protection against cholera, Russian, 1900-1909

Engraved with a cross, this rectangular copper pendant was worn around the neck for protection during the 1910 cholera epidemic in Russia. This was one of the largest cholera outbreaks in Europe during the twentieth century and it claimed over 100,000 lives.

An amulet was, and for many people still is, believed to have magical and spiritual powers, bringing good fortune and good health and protecting against bad luck, including sickness. They have often been called on in the face of epidemic disease. The amulet is shown here with a similar example (A106006).

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
Loan, Wellcome Trust

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