Over the next seven months the project team will be accessioning and documenting the objects inside these boxes. What will they find?
The catalogue for this collection tells us that Adrien de Mortillet collected amulets from all around the world. There are amulets from Algeria, Bolivia and China, and from Egypt, India and Japan. Many of the amulets are from cities in Russia – Kiev and Moscow, Italy – Naples, Rome and Verona, and France – Paris, Toulouse and Tours.
The catalogue also tells us that many of the objects are religious amulets. There are reliquaries (containers for relics connected with saints or other religious figures), rosaries (prayer beads), and ex-votos (votive offerings to saints or divinities). There are also many hamsas (the hand of Fatima) and fish (a traditional symbol of Christianity).
Apart from these religious amulets there are also many folkloric amulets in the collection, including acorns, clovers and horseshoes.
The variety of these objects is also reflected in the materials from which they are made. There are amulets made from stone, coral and pearl, from bronze, silver and gold, and from teeth, bone and skin.