Memento mori

HareBrain

Smeerp of Wonder
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I bought this handsome chap today. It's a memento mori, possibly Italian and probably 19th century. I've long been fascinated by the practice of including a skull in portraits of Renaissance noblemen (for example) as a reminder that even the greatest man must die, but I've not come across one in this form before, as a kind of oversized macabre chess-piece, and I can only find a photo of one other on the internet. I assume they would be made as commissions rather than just churned out, but I really don't know.

If anyone happens to have any knowledge relating to them, I'd be interested to hear it.

I find it fascinating to ponder who might have had the thing made, and why, and where they kept it, and what thoughts they had whilst gazing at it.

memento-mori.jpg
 

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