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Brass hand, Iran, 1880-1925

The fingers of this brass hand are inscribed in Arabic as an amulet to avert the ‘evil eye’. It was made in Persia (modern day Iran). 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.

Object number:

A665269

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Glossary: amulet

Small object or piece of jewellery worn as a protecting charm to ward off ill health and bad luck.

Glossary: evil eye

A manifestation of magic, commonly regarded as a curse which may result in bad luck, illness or even death. It has a place in many different cultures.