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Bone, England, 1870-1909

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The growing influence of biomedicine in the 1800s did not necessarily replace established forms of treatment based on belief and superstition. What could be referred to as folk medicine – customs that often went back generations – continued to be practised. For example, carrying around this piece of bone was believed to be a cure for rheumatism (aches and pains in the joints), transferring the pain from person to stone. Edward Lovett (1852-1933), a collector of British amulets and charms, acquired this piece of animal or human bone in Brandon, Suffolk, England in 1909. Part of Lovett’s collection was purchased by Henry Wellcome in 1930. It is pictured here with two other bones used as a ‘cure’ for aching joints (A79960 and A665266). maker: Unknown maker Place made: England, United Kingdom

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