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Brown and white agate amulet, Devon, England, 1901-1911

Brown and white ringed agate resembles an eye and was carried by fishermen in Devon, England, to protect from 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. The amulet was a gift to the Wellcome collection from Edward Lovett (1852-1933), a collector of British amulets and charms. The amulet is shown here with two others worn to protect against the evil eye (A665895 and A666110).

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    Glossary: agate - chalcedony

    No description.

    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.

    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).