Antique English Memento Mori Coral Stickpin, Victorian Novelty Skull

Memento Mori (remember you must die) has been a popular subject matter in art since the Middle Ages and was very popular in jewellery in the 17th century particularly adopted in mourning jewellery.

Well, it also became popular again in late Victorian jewellery, but perhaps without all of the original sombre reflection and pious intent. It popped up in fashionable jewellery, canes, letter openers, vestas and other smalls, and often had a more humorous, playful edge to it.

This stick pin is Victorian. The skull is carved from a lovely red coral, it has frighteningly realistic teeth, nasal cavities, jaw line and a very smooth cranium. The eyes are made up of two small sparkling diamonds set in silver.

The pin is not marked but tests as 9 ct gold. It measures 8.5 cm (3.04 inches) in length. The skull itself measures 1.3 x 1 cm variable. There is a small ring under the skull which would have held the safety chain, now missing.

This is a most rare, collectable and appealing piece of jewellery.

Item ID: PT00220

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Gender: Male, Age Group: Adult, Color: Red/Gold, Size: Jewellery

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Museum of Love and Mortality

Museum of Love and Mortality, Melbourne, VIC, Australia   

Antique jewellery and collectables specialising in themes of love & mortality. Follow on Facebook!

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