Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/157

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Its StrucHire and Development. 135

will sometimes look for the zigzag scratchings of the assayer as well. The Neapolitan mark is usually im- pressed either upon the stem or upon the loop of the charm.

Specimens of Neapolitan Silver-marks of the Eighteenth Century.

K A P^^^^J MA f

The wearer usually passes round his neck the light silver chain which is linked in the hole in the stem of the charm. The work may be executed in cast, carved, or hammered silver, but very inferior stamped specimens of modern manufacture are common, many being especially made for antiquity-hunters.

The branching framework of the charm is said to be a representation of the "sprig of rue," implied in the name cima di ruta. Upon the branches of this sprig are placed other emblems, as are the ornaments on a Christmas tree.

In a cimaruta of good workmanship we can recognise the following emblems :— (i) Rue, (2) Hand, (3) Moon, (4) Key, (5) Flower, (6) Horn or Fish, (7) Cock or Eagle ; occasionally (8) Heart in especially elaborate specimens, probably of later date, when other emblems, such as (9) Serpent, (10) Cornucopia, (11) Cherub, may also occur.

These emblems are added to the rue, much as the symbolic figures which we find in many Gnostic gems and medals are grouped around an eye (cf. Jahn, Aberglauben de: bosen Blicks), and have been picked out for the purpose of increasing the efficacy of the charm.