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Victorian Era Pennies for the Eyes of the Dead

$15.00 CAD

Practical or Superstition?

In stock

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SKU: MA134 Category:


Of Pennies and Death – two authentic late 19th century or early 20th century large Canadian cents. Condition and dates are random and will vary, however presentation and authenticity are consistent.

It was not an uncommon practice to place pennies on the eyes of the dead during a funeral or wake. Although originating within many cultures, Victorian era North America and Europe were more practical than superstitious in practice, simply using pennies to keep the eyes closed, avoiding any muscular spasms that might cause the eyes to pop open at an inopportune moment. In some cultures, superstition prevailed with the belief that it was important to use coins of silver in order to keep the eyes of the dead closed thereby protecting the mourners from seeing and predicting their own death as reflected in the eyes of the dead.