Rare Antique Limestone Fragment From A Window Or Door Reveal With Pentagram Witches Mark Engraving
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An extremely rare antique limestone fragment bearing the image of a naive witches star or pentagram. It looks to have been the centre stone of the upper region of a door or window reveal, with the pentagram likely to have acted as a preventative measure against evil spirits.
The reality of supernatural evil was almost universally acknowledged during the 16th and 17th centuries. Demons, evil spirits and witches were genuinely believed to be stalking the land, intent on wickedness.
An extension of these fears was that people sought to ward away the threat of evil from their property. One of the ways they would do this was by carving protective symbols, as graffiti, into the structure’s fabric. In doing so, they sometimes turned to ancient folk beliefs for inspiration.
The notion that the five-pointed star, or pentagram, had protective powers stretched back into the medieval period. The endless-line design of the pentagram may have been linked to a folk belief that demons were not especially bright creatures. It was thought that a demon would always follow a line to find out where it went; by creating a line with no end an evil spirit could be trapped.
It was thought that evil spirits entered structures on free-flowing air. And, as such, doors, windows and fireplaces were considered particularly vulnerable portals.
Surveys of historic buildings have turned up countless examples of ritual protection marks. They appear in virtually every type of structure, including churches, castles, cottages, mills and barns.
Condition is good, commensurate with age. Fragment is structurally sound with clear pentagram imagery. Wooden base has a split. Fragment may benefit from a stand upgrade.
Measures 22cm x 13.5cm x 9cm (on stand)
Weighs 1550 grams