Naturally perforated stone amulet, nailed to a cottage door against witches by a carter.
Place details: EUROPE. UK. England Wiltshire Rushmore Cranborne Chase. Cultural Group: European English Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Stone / Flint Stone / ?. Processes: Perforated / ?. Dimensions: Max L = 100 mm Maker: Unknown Field Collector: ?Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers When Collected: By 1881 Other Owners: ?Pitt Rivers. Mr Kimber [name comes from Ettlinger account, see publications history] This object was listed in the Delivery Catalogue as having been transferred from South Kensington Museum in 1884. It was delivered to South Kensington Museum in April 1881. It was probably displayed at South Kensington Museum between 1881 - 1884. PRM Source: Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers founding collection Acquired: Donated 1884 PR No.: 540/ 12191 PRM Image: A15 F6 9-10 Collections Digital Reference Photo 18/06/2013
KEYWORD: Amulet / CLASS: Religion / ?.
Accession Book IV entry - 1884.56.1 - 100 Charms Magic etc. - Naturally perforated stone, nailed to a cottage door against witches by a carter Rushmore nr Salisbury
Delivery Catalogue I entry - Holed stone 540/ 12191 Case 215 49
'Green book' entry - South Kensington Receipts, 5 April 1881 - Collection of objects as per list attached nos 293 to 639 540 Holed stone used for the purpose of keeping away witches Rushmore nr Salisbury
[Geographical] Card Catalogue Entry - exactly as Accession Book
Added [Geographical] Card Catalogue entry - Flint L = 100 mm [LMM]
Detailed Amulet card catalogue entry - Amulets ) O. Inscribed P. Talismans in cases Q Uninscribed single R Collars, necklets, armlets, rings S-T Juju [sic] U-W Stone X. Dance Y. Unclassed. - Naturally perforated stones Gt Britain Description: Stone with natural perforation, found fixed on a nail to the cottage-door of Kimber, a carter in Gen'l Pitt Rivers' employment, to keep away witches. Dimensions 100 x 64 approx Locality: Rushmore nr Salisbury How Acquired: P.R. coll 540 / 12191
Display history: Displayed in South Kensington Museum (V&A). [AP Leverhulme project on founding collection 1995-1998]
Related Documents File [Pitt Rivers Museum Display label] - Stone with a natural hole found nailed to the door of Kimber, a carter at RUSHMORE, to keep witches away. Nr SALISBURY, ENGLAND. P.R. coll ... (540/ 12191) [MJD (Verve) 12/06/2015]
Publications history, trails & websites: Referred to on page 235 of 'Documents of British Superstition in Oxford (A Lecture Delivered before the Oxford University Anthropological Society, on the 2nd of November, 1949)', by Ellen Ettlinger, in Folklore, Vol. 54, no. 1 (March 1943), pp. 227-49. Ettlinger writes: 'More frequently, however, holed stones were fastened to the house- or byre-door, as is shown in three examples in the Pitt Rivers Museum, to keep away witches and pixies, or just for good luck. The first [1884.56.3] was found nailed to the door of a man called Kimber, who was a carter at Rushmore (near Salisbury), employed by General Pitt Rivers. The second [1896.76.3] served in 1896 in Ballymena (N. Ireland) to prevent pixies from stealing the milk, while the third [1908.11.1], a pebble of black limestone, bored by pholas, was hung behind the door of William Twizel's cottage in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland.' [Unsigned, no date; JC 18 2 2010]
Research notes: Rushmore was the seat of Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers from 1880 [AP 06/07/2006]