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from the archive
18th CenturyToadstoneAmulet

According to Paul Taylor of the English Natural History Museum: "Toadstones were considered to be antidotes for poison and were also used in the treatment of epilepsy. As early as the 14th century, people began to adorn jewelry with toadstones for their magical abilities. In their folklore, a toadstone was required to be removed from an old toad while the creature was still alive, and as instructed by the 17th century naturalist Edward Topsell, could be done by setting the toad on a piece of red cloth." This toadstone talisman pendant, made sometime around 1700, is set in silver (alloyed with other metals, not sterling). It's been touched many times, as an amulet should be. An absolutely rare treasure.


  • Materials

    Silver alloyed with base metals and toadstone (actually the button-like fossilized teeth of Leipidotes, an extinct genus of fish from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods).

  • Age

    c. 1700

  • Condition

    Worn, wonderfully so.

  • Size

    2.2 x 1.4cm, including loop at top.

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