Miniature ivory skull in a silver case, Europe, 1840-1920

Made:
1840-1920 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

Miniature skull, carved ivory, on brass stand, having silver guard with hinged opening, European, 1840-1920

Inside the silver cage is a roughly carved ivory skull without the lower jaw. The model was probably used as a memento mori – literally a reminder of death and the shortness of life. The skull was the symbol of death from the 1500s onwards. Previously death was represented as a skeleton accompanied by a living victim.

Details

Category:
Anatomy & Pathology
Object Number:
A201368
Materials:
guard, silver, skull, ivory, stand, brass
type:
skull anatomy (parts of body), anatomy (parts of body), models, skull
taxonomy:
  • animal remains

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