Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair
Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair

Vintage Italian Silver Mano Figa (Fico) and Mano Cornuto Apotropaic Charm Pair

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  • Unique find! Only 1 available.

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General Information:

  • Precious Metal Weight: Approximately 0.19 ozt
  • Precious Metal Material: Procured as sterling silver, only the Mano Cornuto is stamped
  • Dimensions: Mano Figa measures 28.85 mm long including bail x 8.70 mm wide x 5.60 mm deep; Mano Cornuto measures 28.10 mm long including bail x 6.86 mm wide x 4.97 mm deep
  • Weight: A wonderfully weighty 5.82 grams together
  • Markings: The bail of the Mano Cornuto reads “ITALY” on one side and “A [K or R?] 925” on the other.
  • Era: Estimated to date from anytime during the 20th century. Their style and make are extremely generalized, so without knowing an exact provenance, we cannot ascertain a more precise date range beyond what our years of collecting, dealing, learning and refining our expertise enables us to determine.
  • Buyer Notes: While this silver duo was procured together by the shop, they do not appear to have originally been a set. The Figa is believed to be of solid make, while the Cornuto seems to be hollow construction, given the seam line that runs the perimeter of the piece. These two charms are very collectible, and embody a spirit of good health in both men and women. This transaction is solely for the silver amulets and does not include a chain of any kind.

The Story:

Being offered as a pair, these two estate silver charms are made in the form of ancient Italian talismans: the very recognizable Mano Figa (thumb between pointer and middle fingers within a fist) and the Mano Cornuto (raised pointer and pinky fingers with closed thumb). These two hand gestures have been used for virtually thousands of years as apotropaic measures to symbolize protection over fertility and life.

While some texts generalize these signals as rather crude expressions of human reproduction, their meanings were actually rooted in safeguarding the perpetuation of families, and therefore, the prosperity of future generations. Indeed, these gestures have sexual connotations, but one must keep in mind the ancient context from which they come-- especially the lifelong mission of familial survival that all persons bore-- which, given today’s cultural and medical advances, is somewhat obsolete in its gravity. Tokens such as these were believed to be utterly critical to long and healthy life, including life’s perpetuance through fertility and childbirth, which have long been incredibly dangerous durations for women and children.

Both hand signs were believed to ward off the acts and power of the Evil Eye, which ancients perceived as having the ability to severely harm new, nursing mothers and their offspring, as well as bring destruction to fruit bearing trees and plants, milking animals, etc., all of which are the natural forces and sources of regeneration and sustenance of life.

Though its meaning varies from country to county today, in the Ancient Mediterranean world, the Mano Figa was thought to protect against ill will from others, jealousy and hatred, and sickness and bad health. It was demonstrated, thus, as a way to offer best wishes and fortunate favor upon expectant and new mothers and young babies. Often, newborns were given tiny Figa amulets to wear around their necks or wrists during their first stages of life. Mano Figa can be translated into several specific meanings, but it derives from an Etruscan phrase that means “hand fig”; “fico” or fig was the colloquial slang term to reference female genitalia. In summation, this gesture, though relatively explicit in its directness, came about as an act of blessing the health and life of mothers and their babies.

Similarly, the Mano Cornuto has its origins in Ancient gestures of protection. This Neapolitan form was first used in reverence to the divinity of Luna, the moon goddess, and survives as a reference to masculine virility and male sexual health. It is believed that the ancient goddess of fertility’s sexual partner was a horned deity, thus designating a certain sacredness to horned animals such as the bull and other bucranium forms which have been used within the decorative arts and architecture for thousands of years. This sign of the horns is a device for the preservation and robustness of male vigor and potent reproduction, also in opposition to the Evil Eye.

Together, this Mano Figa and this Mano Cornuto are agents of favor for fertility and future prosperity of the generations, the former specifically blessing women, and the latter specifically blessing men. They are tangible demonstrations of generational goodwill and health, and are highly collectible today for their ties to the ancient past and symbolism that transcends time itself.

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Regarding All Purchases: All additional 'prop' jewelry boxes, ring boxes, or any other jewelry items pictured alongside the featured listing are for photographic and display purposes only and are not included in the transaction unless explicitly noted in the listing description and/or title. Your order will be carefully packed within a branded Revival Fine Jewelry gift box and will ship in a discreet outer shipping parcel.

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