Antique German Memento Mori Treen Skull


Exceptionally Carved Circa 1795

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    Marble Base

    From our collectables we are pleased to offer this Antique German Memento Mori Carved Skull. The Skull of petrified display powerfully carved in the form of a human skull consisting of the cranium, upper and lower jaws, the cadaverous face with deliberate missing tooth in light brown patination throughout. Stood upon a small marble base with the skull attaching via a dowel fitting. The Skull dates to the late 18th century circa 1795 and is of Continental origin most likely German.

    Memento Mori From approximately the sixteenth century, skulls were commonly used to remember death as they symbolise the transience of human life. Memento Mori literal Latin translation means remember that you (have to) die. The concept has its roots in the philosophers of classical antiquity, and appeared in funeral art and architecture of the medieval period. Memento Mori jewellery with skull or coffin motifs became popular in the late 16th century, and it was reflected in the artistic genre of vanitas, where symbolic objects such as hourglasses and wilting flowers signified the impermanence of human life. See the Book of Ecclesiastes (1.2) to “vanity of vanities, all is vanities.”

    Treen as a word is derived from the old English word treowen, meaning “of the tree” or to put it in more simple terms, wooden. In the antiques trade it is the collective name used to describe handmade functional items which are made predominantly from wood.

    Measurements Skull 7.5cm High x 6cm Wide x 8cm Deep – Base 3.5cm High x 7.8cm Wide x 9.3cm Depth  (Skull 2.95 x 3.15 x 2.36 – Base 3.66 x 3.07 x 1.38 Inches)

    Condition Excellent

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