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Treasure from the Spitalfields antiques market…

Inspired by the Edward Lovett collection of amulets from Victorian London I am planning a series of sprigged ceramics that use new sprig designs based on the historic amulets.

My modelling skills are not up to much at the moment – though I am working on it.

In the short term however I thought I would experiment with sprig moulds taken as casts directly from objects. As a result I am on the lookout for all sorts of peculiar oddities!

My trip to the antiques market yielded some nice characterful wooden beads and an old key as well as a collection of charms that I am surprisingly charmed by. Lovett collected his charms in Whitechapel, and my new/old heart charm would have fitted in perfectly, coming from just up the road in Spitalfields.

Some things change unrecogniseably – some things dont!

For the record:

Beads – blue beads ward of bronchitis and/or rheumatism

Heart – preserves good health / love charm

Wishbone – lucky charm

Keys- used in charms against witches

Fish – used as amulets

I have also been collecting stones with holes through, known as a “hag-stone” which protect horses from being “hag-ridden”, namely ridden by witches or pixies during the night.

As the extent of Lovett’scollection (now housed in the Cuming Museum) shows, I still have plenty of unusual items to hunt down or reconstruct – though I might skip the poor old mole’s feet!

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3 thoughts on “Swag!

    • Hiya, yes I’ve been thinking about modern equivalents; some don’t translate exactly but I’m definately planning a blister pack of paracetamol for good health and a cctv camera against sudden danger (terrorism is the new lightning strike! so this is a pair for the acorns also in mind but not collected yet.

      Imaginary amulets sound intriguing… What would you imagine?!

  1. I’ve been thinking about amulets too you see. either known objects where the use / meaning is made up – bananas against getting your feet wet in the rain or something… or invented shapes and invented meanings. Idle brain wanderings…

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