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1993-664

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, some believed that if a piece of turf or grass was placed in a cloth bag under a teething child’s pillow at night it could help with pain and discomfort. This amulet 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 other teething amulets: a piece of flint (A132464), a necklace of woody nightshade (A132471), and a calf’s tooth (A665423).

Object number:

A132465

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    Glossary: teething

    No description.

    Glossary: amulet

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

    Glossary: amulet case

    Container for housing an amulet

    Glossary: biomedicine

    The name given to the medical practice that is based on the sciences of the body, such as physiology (the functioning of the body).