352 

hallmarked in Birmingham, the other marks indecipherable but probably 19th century, decorated all over with foliate embossing and engraving and with originally 4 bells (one now lacking), whistle, coral teether and suspension ring, overall length 10cmFootnote: For over a millennium it was thought that coral protected babies from illness and disease as well as possessing the ability to ward off enchantment. By the 16th century, coral teething sticks had become popular and for the well to do, opulent teethers were made of ornate silver or gold, which not only looked impressive, but apparently could repel evil better than the coral could on its own. Later teethers were made with a number of bells hanging from the body in addition to the traditional whistle at the end, as in this example. These 'top of the range' teething rattles literally came 'with all the bells and whistles', hence the expression relating to items which possess the full range of extras and features.

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Location of the item : Royaume-Uni, Cambridge

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