Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/482

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462 Collectanea.

the virtue of the skin were secured. In Italy the paws and the hair of the badger are still much used as amulets against the evil eye and witches, the hair being a favourite with those having the charge of horses.^

Sirens. (28, VI.) A silver ornament and whistle, for a child, in the form of a fish-tailed woman holding a comb in one hand and a mirror in the other, to which a number of small bells are attached ; Saragossa. A similar siren was noted at Seville.

The " sirena " must formerly have been quite commonly worn by children of the upper classes, and it is sometimes to be seen represented in old portraits. Although I have seen only two specimens in Spain itself, two others were met with in different parts of the Netherlands; there is one at South Kensing- ton, and there are three exhibited (as Spanish) at the Musee Cluny, at Paris. All these sirens were of the single-tailed variety ; by their workmanship they are generally to be assigned to about the end of the sixteenth century. They are particularly interesting because of the rare distribution of the siren as an amulet. Silver sirens, differing somewhat from them in form, are still in common use as protections against fascination, in Naples,^ and a siren of bone, mounted in silver, was obtained in the Roman Campagna,^ but, so far as I know, sirens as amulets have not been reported elsewhere. It Italy, since a siren is believed to bewitch one by her glance, her likeness is supposed to protect one from a similar bewitchment produced by other causes — sorcery, or the evil eye.

Eye Forms. (29, VIII.) A piece of rock-crystal, probably from an old reliquary, in shape like the Italian vetro del occhio,'^ mounted in silver; Seville. Probably formerly, as still in Italy, a charm against fascination.

(30, VIII, ) A representation of an eye, in tin ; Madrid. Its purpose could not be ascertained ; it is probably an ex voto

^ Bellucci, Catalogo Descrittivo, Amuleii Italiani, Perugia, 1898, XIII. 5, and xiv. 13.

2 See Elworthy, The Evil Eye, pp. 356 et seq.

3 Bellucci, Cat. Des., 1898, XII. 25. * Bellucci, op. cit.. Tablet X.