A sculpture - amulet with two dolfins. XIX century

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A coral sculpture - amulet  with two dolphins.
Nineteenth century.
Created from a single sprig of coral, carved, engraved and polished.
Italian workmanship of the Trapani tradition, but difficult to place more precisely, as the Trapani artisans moved around Italy over time, forming, among other things, a lesser-known processing center in Livorno (Tuscany), the place of probable creation of this splendid object.
Sculpture with two fish, probably two dolphins, or 2 marine monsters, which transform themselves into a kind of cornucopia, from which fruits emerge in abundance.

The gift to the newborn therefore had a sense of protection and above all of future male fertility. The peculiarity of this small ancient sculpture lies in the double fish, while usually it was a fish (or a snake).
In the culture of southern Italy it was traditional to give a thread of worked coral to a newborn male: amulets in the shape of animals/sea monsters called "SCURSUNA" (plural of SCURSUNI).
It is a word from the Sicilian dialect which generically designates a reptile, or various species of cylindrical and elongated snakes, venomous and not. In the popular imagination they were traditionally associated with bivalent authorities, sometimes negative, as bearers of poison, sometimes positive, as protective spirits.

The gift to the newborn therefore had a sense of protection and above all of future male fertility. The peculiarity of this small ancient sculpture lies in the double fish, while usually it was a fish (or a snake).