Memento mori ring, 1850-1930
‘Memento mori’ translates from Latin as ‘Remember you must die’. This metal memento mori ring is in the form of two arched skeletons, with a large skull wedged between their two heads. Such rings were reminders of death. They prompted people about the shortness of life and the inevitability of death. A skull was typically used to represent death from the 1500s onwards. It gradually replaced the common older image of a skeleton leading a living person off to their death.
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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.
Glossary: ring - jewellery
Small circular band worn on the finger; typically circlets of real or simulated precious metal, and frequently set with precious stones or imitations of these, intended for wearing upon the finger either as an ornament or as a token.
Trial term S&H