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Skeleton in coffin pendant, Europe, 1701-1900

A silver skeleton worn as a memento mori pendant is inside the gold coffin. A memento mori often contained images of skeletons and hourglasses. A memento mori reminds the wearer of the shortness of human life and the inevitability of death.

Object number:

A641823

 

Glossary:

Glossary: pendant

Hanging articles of jewellery, usually suspended from a necklace, but also includes Renaissance examples fastened to the sleeve often worn as decorative ornaments; can also be an article of devotional, magical, or mourning jewelry which then may sometimes be concealed under clothing.

Glossary: skeleton

The bones or bony framework of an animal body considered as a whole; also, more generally, the harder (supporting or covering) constituent part of an animal organism.

Glossary: memento mori

Symbols intended to remind the viewer of death. Memento mori are often objects such as skulls or hourglasses, but can also be written inscriptions.