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Lot 0096
19th century AD. A group of silver amulets comprising: a hand making the cornuto sign holding a key with snake coiled round the centre and with horse to one side and man holding a bow to the other; a hand making the cornuto sign holding a coiled snake with horse to the front and dog on its back; a hand holding a coiled snake; a key with scrolled head; a hand holding a wreath with coiled snake below. Cf. Berry, V. Neapolitan Charms Against the Evil Eye, in Folklore, Vol. 79, no. 4 (Winter 1968), pp.250–56. 13 grams, total, 34-45mm (1 1/4 - 1 3/4"). English private collection; acquired in the 1970s. In South Italy there is still a strong belief in the powers of the Evil Eye, or malocchio,and amulets have been made since Roman times to ward off the negative powers. During the 18th and 19th centuries silver amulets were made in the region of Naples to protect against the powers of stregha, or witches. In Italy it was believed that children are especially weak against the forces of the Evil Eye. The high infant mortality rate was more likely due to poor hygiene and diet, but it was attributed to the Evil Eye being cast on them by a jettatore. Jettatore is an Italian word of Neopolitan origin, and was used to refer to one who has the powers of the Evil Eye. [5, No Reserve]


Very fine condition.

Starting Bid


Buyer's Premium

  • 29%

Post Medieval Witch Charm Group

Estimate £120 - £170Apr 1, 2017
23-24 Berkeley Square
London, W1J 6HE
United Kingdom
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