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Lucky Charms

Advertising cards issued by W.G. & H. O. Wills of Bristol & London 1923.

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Cards like these were packaged with cigarettes. They were issued in sets, this one with 50 cards. This gallery has the 27 cards with Lucky Charms beads. There were also a dozen made-up pendants with the signs of the zodiac and some charms that are not beads. The historical and anthropological details on the backs of the cards were not too well researched. I have made my own comments.

Part One: Popular Magic

Cards 17, 28 and 48.


The Eye and the Hand

Top left, Egyptian Udjat, the Eye of Horus, of molded faience. Bottom left jewelry of onyx cut to resemble the eye. Right, probably a Turkish concoction. Blue glass beads (very good against the Eye), a metal Hand of Fatima and crescents carved from horn? See the flag of Turkey.

The idea of the "Evil Eye" can be traced to Neolithic shepherds in the Middle East
 If someone has the eye they can bring disaster to you or your property (especially cattle) by giving you a curse on first glance.

Two ways have been devised to protect against this.
One is to attract the eye to something else. Another eye does especially well, which is why there are so many Eye Beads. The other is to attack the eye with the hand or any representation of it, such as a star or crescent.

Cards 14, 13 and 22.


Inscribed Magical Charms

The ring on the left has the figure called Abraxas, a gnostic symbol dating to about the 2nd century A.D. The middle pendant is inscribed with Abracadabra.
It was supposed that by pronouncing this word over again, each time omitting a letter that illness would flee. The Will's version is not as long as it should be. The amulet on the right is inscribed with the Greek vowels. The card says that the repletion of the seven letters using each of seven pronunciations per vowel will bring wealth.

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