We offer layaway, spread payments on the piece of your dreams. Ask us for details.
Free insured shipping on all orders !!!
Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.
A type of amulet, worn as a pendant, in the form of a hand with the fingers in positions of varying significance. The hand, usually of ivory, crystal, jet or wood, sometimes extends from a gold and jewelled suspensory mount made as part of a sleeve with a frilled cuff.
Such amulets were worn in the 16th/18th centuries, mainly in Spain, as a deterrent against the 'evil eye'. When the hand is clenched with the thumb protruding between the index and third fingers (mano in fica), the amulet is called in Spain a "higa", although that term has sometimes been extended to refer to such an amulet in the form of a woman's right hand (occasionally having jewelled finger rings on the index and third fingers) with the thumb and index finger forming a loop in a position regarded formerly as a gesture against the evim eye, but today as a gesture of accord.
The gesture known as the mano cornuta (horned hand, denoting cuckoldry), with the index and little fingers extended upward, has also been used on amulets.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson