Placebo Stone Remedies

In 2012 Jennifer worked with Historians at the Victoria and Albert Museum to select an object from the collections and adapt its function for a modern day purpose.  She selected an 18th Century Italian coral and silver teething stick/rattle.

By researching the purpose of this object within its historical context, she discovered that the coral teething stick element was not just for soothing the gums of an infant, it was believed that the stone held ‘healing’ properties the child would ingest whilst sucking on it.  She researched the materials used to construct this piece and considered how a person today might use these supposed ‘healing’ gems after modern medical science disproved their medical worth.   In response to the brief she created ‘Placebo Stone Remedies’.  The modern day user can self-prescribe hand carved ‘healing’ gemstones which sit in silver pill trays.  The same materials used to make the teething stick are used for the contemporary (pills and lipstick) interpretation.

Placebo Pills Materials: Sliver, amber, an assortment of semi-precious gemstones

Lipstick Materials: Carnelian, Readymade

Image credit for V&A Teething Stick: Teething Stick/Rattle in silver and coral, Maker Unknown, ca. 1750