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from the archive
Victorian Mother of Pearl Mano Cornuto Necklace

Mano Cornuto means “horned hand” in Italian; the gesture is commonly depicted on charms to protect against the evil eye. It is unclear whether the gesture originated as a symbol of animal horns or a “poking out the (evil) eyes” action, but ancient lunar goddess charms depicting animal horns were used for similar protective purposes and are probably related to the Mano Cornuto. Heavy Metal fans adopted the hand gesture in the late 20th century, and in fact, Gene Simmons of KISS tried to trademark it! This c. 1860 mano cornuto charm is carved from mother of pearl and wears a bracelet set with blue paste.


  • Materials

    base metal, mother of pearl, "turquoise" paste cabochon, new 14k gold chain

  • Age

    c. 1880

  • Condition

    Very good

  • Size

    1 7/8" length including the split ring, 1/2" width, 18" chain

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