[Skip to content] [Skip to main navigation] [Skip to user navigation] [Skip to global search] [Accessibility information] [Contact us]

What's this? A Charmed Life

Since July, a group of 8 brilliant volunteers have been involved in collecting information and memories from visitors to the museum about an intriguing object – a glove charm from Naples. 

  • Glove protective charm, Mano cornuta, or horned hand amulet in the form of a brown leather glove with white stitching. Used as a charm against bad luck.
    Mano cornuta, or horned hand amulet in the form of a brown leather glove with white stitching. Used as a charm against bad luck.

As well as talking to people about the object and encouraging them to enter their thoughts into the iPads next to the object, they have been taking photos of the lucky charms our visitors have in their pockets.

Sze Kiu Leung - one of the volunteers - takes us through a selection of the charms.

During the past month, as part of the Collection People Stories project, we have been inviting our vistors (as well as our fellow volunteers) to share their special / lucky charms with us by letting us take a photo of the charm, as well as telling us a little bit of background information about it (e.g. what it is and why it's special).

This lady said this was a religious talisman given to her by her mother when she was a child. "I have worn it ever since – I am now in my 30s. I lost it twice and went to big efforts to retrieve it and fix it!"

  • Charm, A religious talisman.
    A religious talisman.

"I have carried this everywhere for 20 years. It is the name of the sun in Egyptian. I would feel lost without it."

  • Charm, Egyptian hieroglyphs.
    Egyptian hieroglyphs.

"This is my mother's wedding ring. Wearing it gives me a sense of closeness with my family member."

  • Charm, A wedding ring.
    A wedding ring.

Volunteer Louise's lucky charm bracelet – it is made of beads which ward off the evil eye.

  • Louise's lucky charm bracelet , A charm bracelet.
    A charm bracelet.

This is Roy's lucky glove (aged 3). It is a golfing glove, but he likes to think it is his wrestling glove and likes to just wear only one glove on his left hand.

  • Roy's lucky glove, A lucky glove.
    A lucky glove.

Volunteer Tempe's lucky bracelet – she wears this for all exams, interviews dates etc. As a rule though she wouldn’t say that she is superstitious.

  • Tempe's lucky bracelet, A good luck bracelet.
    A good luck bracelet.

Volunteer Kieron's cap – he wears this every day and has a subconscious need to wear it, like a good luck charm.

  • Kieron's cap, A lucky hat.
    A lucky hat.

What would you consider your charm? Let us know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook by using the hashtag #Horniman.