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Copy of Lodestone believed to have been used by Queen Anne

The original silver mounted lodestone is reputed to have been used by Queen Anne of England (1702–1714) during healing ceremonies. Anne objected to touching her subjects directly and instead used the stone. It was believed that the monarch’s power could heal the ‘King’s Evil’ or scrofula. The monarch’s power could be transferred to objects such as lodestones or touchpieces. The lodestone was reputedly given to John Rooper, one of the Queen's staff, and was passed down three generations of his family before being sold at auction. The silver casing was added later to protect the family heirloom.

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Glossary: scrofula

A disease that leads to a swelling of the neck, and inflammations of the skin, bones and joints. It was once believed that the touch of a king could cure the disease, hence its alternative name: ‘King's Evil’.

Glossary: lodestone

A piece of magnetic iron ore, which can act like a compass needle.