"Momento Mori" is a Latin term that means "Remember that you will die." This reflective view of life and mortality dates back to early Christianity during the Medieval era, and became highly symbolic. Representations of Momento Mori themes were present in early art forms, architecture, and eventually jewelry, which was very popular during the Georgian era. Motifs often included skulls, skeletons, and inscriptions of the Latin phrase. When worn, Memento Mori jewelry serves as a reminder of human mortality, and the temporary, yet precious quality of life.
A fantastic carved ivory stickpin from the Victorian (ca1880) era! Crafted in 14kt yellow gold, this bold pin adorns a hand carved ivory skull which sits at the top of a gold stick pin. Reminiscent of antique "Momento Mori" jewelry, the 3-dimensional skull is highly detailed, including hollowed eye sockets, carved temples, and a raised nasal bone with two delicate cutouts, adding incredible realism. Embellishing the mouth is a smoothly polished inlaid plaque of vibrant yellow gold that has been etched to mimic a set of teeth, adding a fun, eye-catching detail. Resting at the back of the skull is a curved gold plaque attached to a simple bar pin that extends below, perfect for fastening the piece to a favorite garment. A wonderful and historical piece, it would be right at home in any antique collection!
Measurements: The entire stickpin measures 2 5/8" long, and the skull measures about 1/2" wide, and is slightly more than 1/2" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the stickpin is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the yellow gold setting or to the carved skull, which remains in excellent condition.