Glass necklace worn to prevent bronchitis, Greenwich, London, 1914

Made:
1914 in Greenwich
maker:
Unknown

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Top: A630908, London bronchitis necklet, Chelsea, London, English 1914. Bottom: A630904, London bronchitis necklet,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

London bronchitis necklet, Greenwich, London, 1914

Edward Lovett (1852-1933), a researcher and collector of folk traditions, bought these glass-beaded necklaces in London markets. Lovett visited 130 stalls and discovered that the necklaces were worn around the neck from childhood until death in the hope of preventing bronchitis. The beads never left contact with the skin and were sometimes buried with a person. The blue colour of the beads was said to make the necklaces an effective protector. Amulets have been worn for thousands of years to protect the wearer from illness, ill fortune and bad luck. It is shown here with a similar example (A630908).

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Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A630904
type:
necklace
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • costume
  • jewellery
credit:
Lovett, E.
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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