A chaplet belonging to a King of Brak

History of the Origin of Medicine, (London, 1778)
Author: LETTSOM, John Oakley (1744-1815) Artist: N/A

A most interesting feature of this book is the remarkable hand-coloured frontispiece depicting a chaplet that belonged to the king of Brak, near Senegal. To this chaplet is attached a variety of gigris, consisting of small pieces of paper with passages from the Koran, enclosed in small pouches covered with hairy skin, scarlet or purple-coloured cloth or leather. The chaplet is also decorated with shells and antelope horns covered with coloured linen. The gigris was for protection against thunderbolts and diseases, a help in procuring many wives, prevention against ship-wreck when fishing, or slavery in war, etc.

Wunderkammer is a gallery of unique medical art from the Hagströmer Medico-Historical Library.