Snap lock, spring mechanism exposed by rust

Iron, around 1600; length: 10 cm

The lock is among the items extracted from the base of twelve wooden wells in Schwerin in 1977/78 and 1984. It is assumed that this slightly alien object would not have fallen into the covered domestic well in the 14th or 15th century by accident. It was probably thrown in deliberately during a magic ritual. Sorcery involving locks was the main variant in the practice of magic knots.

To cause infertility or a live birth, a rival or a witch would wait until the nuptials and then secretly close the lock, throwing it then into the bridal couple's well. The key would be hidden at an irretrievable location.

This form of sorcery with locks is based on the old gynaecological-anatomic perception of the 'birth lock' that cannot be opened if it is sealed by esoteric analogy.

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Text: A. R.

The exhibit refers to:

Mecklenburg until 1945

Look here for the original exhibit:

Burg Penzlin. Museum für Alltagsmagie und Hexenverfolgung in Mecklenburg

Burg Penzlin. Museum für Alltagsmagie und Hexenverfolgung in Mecklenburg

17217 Penzlin

Telefon +49 3962 210 494
Fax +49 3962 210 135
alte.burg@penzlin.de

www.alte-burg.amt-penzliner-land.de