17th Century Death's Head Ring

Regular price $3,500.00

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In the centuries leading up to the Victorian era, the rude brevity of human life was accepted - even advertised - in popular culture, as evidenced by this so-called "death's head" ring from the late 17th century. It's a piece of memento mori jewelry, which borrows its name from a Latin phrase meaning "remember you will die." Memento mori pieces were prevalent during the 1600s and 1700s, and usually contained fatalistic symbols like skulls, coffins, hourglasses and grave digger's tools. This particular ring is commemorative - the interior is inscribed "J G ob 3 Aug 90" - and it's wrought in 22k gold. The skull is heavily worn but still very much present.