|Carved Coral Amulet|
Italy, Seventeenth Century
The Victoria & Albert Museum
A carved coral amulet, this jewel was made in Italy around 1600 and was intended as a baby gift. Mounted in enameled gold filigree, the piece is carved with a bird meant to protect the child from harm.
The amulet could have been suspended from a ribbon over the cradle or, perhaps, hung from a rattle.