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Ref FB1 Memento Mori Skull Ring
In earlier centuries the theory and practice of reflecting on the transient nature of earthly life was known as 'memento mori' : a Latin phrase which means 'remember that you must die'. This theory was an important aspect of ascetic disciplines - particularly Christianity - providing inspiration to turn one's attention away from the distractions of earthly concerns and desires and contemplate instead on the prospect of the afterlife. Artists have explored the concepts of memento mori in a number of ways throughout history, developing a universal language of rich visual symbolism. This high carat gold memento mori hoop is dated 1710 and reserved in black enamel with a skull amidst acanthus and thistles. Acanthus symbolised the heavenly garden and thistles the Crown of Thorns in memento mori iconography. To interior the ring is inscribed :
Rieus Scott Gen. Obt Aug 19 1710 Aet 84
. Interestingly at later inscription has been added :
Dye 7 1715
. The ring is size M [US 6] and the band is 1/4 of an inch wide. The majority of the original enamel remains intact and the ring is in very fine and wearable condition.
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