1985.51.361 .1 1985.51.361 .2

Two mole's feet [.1 -.2]. Carried in a pocket as an amulet to protect from toothache. [SM 16/02/2011]

Place details: EUROPE. UK. England Norfolk. Cultural Group: European English Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Animal Part / ?. Processes: Dried / ?. Dimensions: Max L [.1] = 23 mm Max W [.1] = 13 mm Max L [.2] = 26 mm Max W [.2] = 44 mm When Collected: By 1933 Acquired: Transferred 1985 Other Numbers: R 11324/ 1936 A 65998.. R 23290 Related Collections: 1985.49, 1985.50, 1892.45, 1893.73, 1893.75, 1894.55.1,1895.3.8, 1895.44, 1895.64, 1896.81, 1899.68, 1900.57, 1901.50, 1902.60.1, 1902.66, 1903.42, 1903.52, 1907.71, 1909.40, 1909.43, 1909.60, 1911.75, 1917.28.8, 1917.28.9, 1932.88.10-13, 92-97, 155-158, 160, 205, 209, 262, 628-631, 640-641, 872, ?885-886, 1015-1016; 1933.90, 1938.35.32-34, 504-505, 519-520, 533,535-538, 557-561, 658, 677-679, 717, 1171, 1594; 1968.13.177, 178, 221, 250, 251, 283, 284, 288, 312, 314-319, 324, 382, 396-398, 443, 444, 447, 491-493; 2005.125.1 [MdeA 07/01/2011]

KEYWORD: Amulet / Animal Part / CLASS: Religion / Animalia / ?.

Publications history, trails & websites: Illustrated in colour in the pamphlet accompanying the Reading Room displays at the Welcome Collection with the caption “Mole’s feet Natural materials UK RRa0158/1985.51.361 Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford These Mole’s feet were carried to protect against toothache.” [FB 15/8/2016]

Illustrated in colour on page 198 in ‘Reading Room Companion consisting of a rare and valuable collection of diverse curiosities acquired by and for Henry Wellcome with a great variety of books’ Written and compiled by Anna Faherty published in 2014 by the Wellcome collection, London. Illustrated alongside 1985.52.21, 1985.51.177, .923, .340, and .350 with the caption “Amulets made from animals or animal parts. Pitt Rivers Museum. Any object can become a protective amulet or good-luck charm, so long as its owner belives (or hopes) it has the power to affect the world around them. Just as the value of an object in a museum collection is transformed from its intrinsic natural or functional purpose into something more representational, amulets are redefined and repurposed by those who use and value them. Derived from the Arabic term hamala, which means ‘to carry’, most amulets are worn in some way or kept in bags or pockets.

The amulets and charms on display in the Reading Room were collected by three different individuals. There original owners employed them as protection against threats such as the ‘evil eye’, or hoped that they would bring fertility, good health and good luck. For full details on each amulet, please consult the dedicated Amulets, charms and votives booklet.” [FB 15/8/2016]