Originally owned by the Butler family of Granvilla, near Cahir, Co. Tipperary, this small amulet was traditionally used to protect cattle from disease. It consists of a crystal ball weighing c. 200g that is mounted in a decorative bronze frame. There were two ways the ‘cure’ could be invoked. Sometimes the stone was placed in the livestock’s drinking water, while in other instances it was tied around the animal’s neck via a suspension loop.
During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries such folk remedies appear to have been quite common in Ireland and similar amulets are recorded from a number of locations. For example, the Imokilly and Ballyvourney stones, both from Co. Cork, were similarly immersed in drinking water to effect the ‘cure’.
Armitage, H. (ed.) 2002 The Hunt Museum Essential Guide, Scala Publishers, London, p. 156
Atkinson, G. M. 1875 ‘On a stone known as the ‘Imokilly Amulet’ (Cloch Omra Ua Maccaille)’ in The Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland Fourth Series, Vol. 3, No. 23 (Jul., 1875), pp. 440-444
Image after Armitage, H. (ed) 2002 The Hunt Museum Essential Guide, Scala Publishers, London, p. 156