Silver gilt pendant, ‘memento mori’, Europe, 1701-1900

Made:
Unknown date in Europe
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Silver gilt pendant, a memento mori in the form of a coffin containing a skeleton with frog sitting on abdomen

The tiny coffin is a form of ‘memento mori’, an object made to remind the wearer of the short length of life. It is decorated with crosses on all sides and opens to reveal a skeleton with a frog sitting on the abdomen. Frogs dramatically transform in their lifetime so they are associated with rebirth and resurrection. Memento mori were popular in 1700s and 1800s Europe. They were often carried in memory of a lost loved one.

Details

Category:
Wellcome (general)
Object Number:
A38717
Materials:
gold, silver
Measurements:
overall (open): 12 mm x 60 mm x 33 mm,
overall (closed): 12 mm x 60 mm x 18 mm, .018 kg
type:
memento mori, coffins; skeletons; memento mori, pendants, anatomy (specimens), costume (personal accessories), anatomy (specimens), coffins, pendants, skeletons
taxonomy:
credit:
Fosters
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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