Shell pendant painted with an eye, Paris, France, 1850-1920
Hung from a necklace, the shell pendant painted with an eye and mounted in a metal frame on the right was used as an amulet to prevent eye infections or against the ‘evil eye’. 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. This pendant came from the De Mortillet Collection and is shown here with two other amulets worn to protect against the evil eye (A132526 and A666110).
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Hanging articles of jewellery, usually suspended from a necklace, but also includes Renaissance examples fastened to the sleeve often worn as decorative ornaments; can also be an article of devotional, magical, or mourning jewelry which then may sometimes be concealed under clothing.
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.