Two Italian silver amulets, late 19th/early 20th century
An amulet is a magical charm believed to have the power to protect from harm the one who possesses it or wears it. Amulets were typically hung in the room of a woman in childbirth or affixed to the crib of a newborn child. The belief in amulets persisted widely among Jews until as late as the nineteenth century, when, under the influence of the Haskalah (Enlightenment) and religious reform movements, their use was severely curtailed. Nevertheless, in some circles, the folk tradition of wearing amuletic devices persists.