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Memento Mori Skull Ring Dated 1704


Memento mori is a Latin phrase which literally means, “Remember that you must die”. This term has been applied to a form of jewelry to advise those alive to live each moment to the fullest and keep sacred the memory of those gone before. The earliest examples have been found in Europe and date to the 1400s. Flourishing in the late 17th to mid 18th century, these reminders of the transitory nature of life transitioned into what is now known as sentimental jewelry of two types: a memorial theme and the other of a sweeter more affectionate nature. Later on the ring developed into a form of memorial jewelry inscribed with the name and date of the passing of a person.

This particular high carat (20 – 22k) yellow gold is English in origin and is dated 1704. The simple gold band is hand chased with the coveted image of a skeleton head. Complete with engraved details of eyes, nose mouth and teeth, the skeleton head itself traditionally has symbolized the passing of life and the representation of mortality. Hand engraved to the interior is “T.D.: Ob: Ap 7: 1704” which translates to an individual with the initial of T. D. passed from this earth on April 7th in the year of 1704. The ring is accompanied by an antique ring box of brown leather not of original issue.

Date: 1704

+ Measurements, Condition & More

Measurements: 3/16 of an inch (0.4 cm) in length north to south on the hand. Weight of 3.5 grams (2.3 dwt).

Ring Size: US 4-3/4 (UK J; Euro or Int. Circum. 48.7 mm; Int. Dia. 15.5 m; Japan over 8) and easily can be sized to fit most. Ring sizing information.

Condition: Excellent for its age.

Origin: English.

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