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18th C Memorial Watercolor with Skull, Bones, Casket, and Hourglass - 1794 Memento Mori - Folk Art
Dated 1794, this beautiful Folk Art remembrance to a father shows an ornate casket supported on winged feet topped by a clamshell canopy containing an hourglass, and surmounted by a skull and bones, all symbols of death and afterlife - the sands of time have stopped for the departed with the tipped hour glass, and the winged feet of his casket bear him to to heaven. I particularly love the extreme patina on the period lemon gold frame, a perfect layer of texture that contrasts beautifully with the delicate rendering and suits the subject quite well. A true 'memento mori' for us now 220 years later.
My Latin is a little rusty, but I believe it translates to something like “Dedicated to the memory of your father by three of his best men - Inst. 14 September 1794."
CONDITION is wonderful for its age and well represented in the pictures, only minor foxing of the laid paper - please look at the photographs. Underlaid lightly in places with graphite, then inked and painted with watercolor. The mat is older, but of a later date than the painting. The piece hangs by a tiny antique ring atop the frame. Measures 8 3/8" x 6 5/16" overall, with a sight size inside the mat of 6 1/2" x 3 3/8".
Every generation finds a way of remembering those who have passed - this lovely bit of Folk Art is certainly one of the most charming.
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