Brooch to avert the evil eye, Europe, 1900-1914
On the right, the shell’s colouring and shape looks like an eye. It is mounted in a metal rim. The brooch was worn to protect the wearer from the ‘evil eye’, a once 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. The amulet is shown here with two others worn to protect against the evil eye (A132526 and A665895).
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