Ivory model of a half head, half skull, Europe, undated

Made:
undated 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

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

Ivory model of a half head, half skull, mounted on a metal rod

One half of this ivory model shows a human face with skin and hair; the other shows a skull with the lower jaw missing. This type of model is thought to be 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:
A641315
Materials:
ivory, metal
type:
skull
taxonomy:
  • animal remains
  • visual and verbal communication

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