Antique, cornicello Amulet Charm Pendant .

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Antique, cornicello Amulet Charm Pendant .

Made of red carved , Mediterranean Coral with a silver mounting.

Italy ( Naples ) early 1900s

Size 5 cm

A cornicello, cornetto, corno or corno portafortuna is an Italian amulet or talisman worn to protect against the evil eye (or malocchio [maˈlɔkkjo] in Italian) and bad luck in general, and, historically, to promote fertility and virility. In Neapolitan, it is called curniciello or variants thereof. The amulet is also sometimes referred to as the Italian horn.

A cornicello is a twisted horn-shaped charm often made of gold, silver, plastic, bone, terracotta, or red coral. Cornicelli are thought to be modeled after an eland horn, to represent fertility, virility, and strength. The shape and colour of the red cornicelli are reminiscent of a chili pepper. The evil eye is believed to harm nursing mothers and their babies, bearing fruit trees, milking animals, and the sperm of men - the forces of generation. In addition to being worn as jewelry, cornicelli are sometimes hung from the rearview mirrors of cars (based on the older custom of using them to protect draft horses), and in houses.