Saturday Show & Tell: 18th Century Skeletal Memento Mori Band

October 23, 2010

Because I can, here’s a sneak peek at my newest addition to the family and something you’ll be seeing a large article about in the near future!

“A rare early 18th century Memento Mori band gold known as a skeletal, as the whole length of the skeleton is employed on the outside of the hoop, with other emblems. The earliest known example is dated 1659. This ring is enamelled in black with a full skeleton, twin hearts for love and an hourglass, symbolic of the passage of time and the brevity of life. It is size J [US 4 and 5/8] and the band is 1/8 of an inch wide. A rare ring which has survived in amazingly good condition with enamel intact.”

3 Responses to “Saturday Show & Tell: 18th Century Skeletal Memento Mori Band”

  1. Shirley Says:

    Amazing! This is so modern! I absolutely LOVE this piece.

  2. Thalia Says:

    Love & Death. The image of skeleton and two hearts. Perhaps this was not worn, the reason the enamel is intact


    • That’s an excellent observation, Thalia! Indeed, many mourning jewels weren’t worn, but simply commissioned and displayed or worn sparingly. This tells a tale about how this particular piece has survived for these 300 or so years and also the condition of enamel can tell a tale quite a lot more than any symbol or gem could.


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