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Very Breezy

Rare Antique Carved Bone Figa Pendant

Rare Antique Carved Bone Figa Pendant

Regular price $228.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $228.00 USD
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I'm so excited to offer such a rare and special piece. This figa dates to the 19th century and is carved from bone, set in silver; it's rare to find these amulets in this material. Figa means "fig," which is a reference to female genitalia. Dating back to the Etruscan Civilization of 6th Century B.C. in present-day Italy, this gesture is a reference to heterosexual sexual intercourse. In these ancient times, it was worn to call upon the gods for fertility, virility, and pleasure— figs are a sign of Bacchus, Roman god of wine and fertility (among other things). Although they were originally considered obscene symbols, the figa was co-opted by the early Christians, who considered in an amulet to ward off evil, with the idea being that the gesture is so obscene, it scares away or distracts the devil. (More on that here.) With Christianity, beginning in the early 17th century, figa jewelry was spread to present-day South America, where it remains a very popular symbol of good luck, especially in Brazil. Note that the positioning of the thumb varies slightly from that of the traditional figa, which you will sometimes see; hands in general (in a fist or otherwise) were symbols of protection in the Victorian era and you will find Victorian jewelry depicting hands in a variety of gestures. The pendant's total drop is about 1 3/8". You can purchase it on its own, or with a 14k gold chain. The Vintage Gold Italian Horn Pendant pictured is also available.

Great antique condition, with natural wear commensurate with age. With any questions about the specific condition or size, please email for additional photos or measurements, as all sales are final.

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