The following description was prepared by William Gross:
From earliest times, man has tried to protect himself from misfortune by the use of objects which he considered holy or otherwise (e.g., magically) potent. Amulets and talismans are items generally worn around the neck or wrist, carried in a pocket or purse or hung on a wall. They are meant to protect or aid those who carried or wore them. The Hebrew word for amulet, kame‘a, has the root meaning "to bind". Jewish amulets are usually comprised of texts (either letters or graphic symbols) that are inscribed on some sort of material; some may also contain plant matter or precious stones. The texts of amulets usually include holy names that are believed to have the ability to affect reality, along with incantations summoning angels or other magical powers. For the most part, an amulet has a specific purpose: to ease childbirth, facilitate recovery from illness, improve one’s livelihood, and so on, but in the modern world many are also made for general protection.
There were several classic Iraqi Jewish amulets, all of which are attached to this elegant 22 karat gold necklace. This necklace, which can carry a variety of amulets, is called "Salchani". All the elements are on a long gold chain, the necklace being worn across the chest rather than around the neck as a normal necklace. There is an inscription on the three amulet cases identifying the owner as Miriam the daughter of Tovah Gabai. The Gabbai family was a part of the Sassoon family, widely known as the Sephardic Rothschilds. That fact would explain the great elegance and richness of the necklace. In the Gross Family Collection is such a neckalce in two sizes: this large one, apparently for a mother, and a smaller one, apparently for a child.
The three hollow amulet holders may have held or still hold written amulets or some kind of spice or grain that also has magic qualities. In addition there is a carved oak "nut" in thin gold ribbon wrapping, called an "afsa" from which is hung a small hamsa with a blue stone in the middle. Another element is a ceramic piece glazed in blue with seven depressions; this amulet is called "saba iyun", or "seven eyes". A third element is an amulet with opposing wolf's teeth, from which is hung a small gold hamsa with a blue turquoise stone set in the middle of the palm. This amulet is called "kake dgurga deva", often hung around the child's neck with the appearance of the first tooth. A fourth element is a gold disk with an enamel image of a palm tree.
Inscription: Miriam bat Tovah Gabai (5)653 [1892/3]