Memento Mori/Skulls

Memento Mori refers to pieces with imagery surrounding death, usually skulls, which are highly collectable. In fact, the rather macabre meaning of memento mori is “Remember that you must die”!


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Memento Mori/Skulls
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Memento Mori

Memento Mori refers to pieces with imagery surrounding death, usually skulls, which are highly collectable.

In fact, the rather macabre meaning of memento mori is “Remember that you must die”!

These pieces were created to remind the wearer to cherish every day they spent alive and served as a reminder of the imminence of death and the hazards that faced life in the 17th century.

Popular images seen on memento mori jewellery include skulls, crossbones, skeletons, coffins and worms.

Much like mourning jewellery, memento mori can seem a little bit dark for our modern tastes, but they’re certainly some of the more unusual pieces and are a very valuable addition to any antique jewellery collection.

Also like mourning jewellery, memento mori is usually made from black and gold enamel, and may bear the date of a recently deceased relative. 

While rings were the most popular form of memento mori, it was also available in the form of lockets, pendants and brooches.