2996 – Toad Charm: Souvenir

Physical description:
A small toad made of silver-coloured metal. Sold as a charm by William Henry Paynter at his Cornish Museum at East Looe. Still attached to its backing card.
Museum classification:
Spells and Charms
30 x 15 x 10
The little toad charm is still inside the plastic bag attaching it to its backing card, and it is difficult to see its details and condition, because the bag is still full of dried mud from the 2004 flood. The backing card (which is water-damaged) reads, "A Piece of Cornish History. No. 14. WITCHES TOAD. Many different types of reptiles were used as medium for witchcraft - toads, hedgehogs, snakes. But the toad, being the main one, was said to have searching powers and relating to the object that the witches were casting their spell on through the toad's mental telepathy. This was not always bad as people think more often than not they passed on good fortune and happiness, this being the white witch and it is still very strongly believed in the north of Cornwall and the moors." This charm was probably made specially for the witchcraft researcher William Henry Paynter for sale at his museum at East Looe, which he opened in 1959.