A 16th-17th Century Bellamine Jug Or Witches Bottle Fragment
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A fragment of a 16th - 17th Bellarmine jug, or as they were also commonly known, a Witches Bottle.
These mysterious looking items were a type of decorated salt-glazed stoneware that was manufactured in Europe throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. The characteristic decorative detail is a bearded face mask appearing on the lower neck of the vessel.
Throughout the 17th century these jugs were used as witches bottles. Witches bottles were believed to be counter magical devices used as protection against Dark magic. They were filled with various objects such as hair, nail clippings, pins, nails, wine or urine and rosemary, which were thought to benefit their owners or harm their enemies. Bottles with malevolent-looking face masks typical of the period, were routinely chosen for this very purpose.
It was widely believed that witches often gained access to homes through deviant paths such as the chimney stack. Witches bottles were therefore placed into walls, roofs, floorboards or fireplaces to ward off evil spirits.
Condition is as shown. Antique dug up condition. A crack to one side, please see photos.
Measures 20cm x 19cm x 16cm