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.
his beautiful creation is certainly among the largest and earliest amulets extant from Jewish Morocco. This amulet and its companion, Gross Family Collection 027.011.457, have been passed down through the generations of the Rabbinic family Ovadia from Sefrou, the last of whom eventually settled in Jerusalem. In addition to the provenance, the stylized Hebrew script is a strong indication as to the origin. The amulet is extraordinarily colorful with both vegetal and geometric decoration, and depicts images of the four animals, a scorpion, a snake and, most remarkably for Morrocon objects, a portrayal of human figures. Both the images and the texts show that partially the amulet is against scorpions and snakes and was probably hung in the house for protection against those dangers.