Ivory model of a skull on a wooden pedestal, Europe, before 1928

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Ivory model of a skull on a wooden pedestal, Europe, before 1928. Carved from a single piece of ivory, the model of a human skull sits upon crossbones. Not much is known about this model, but it is thought that it is a memento mori – literally a reminder of death and the shortness of life. (The skull was the symbol of death from the 1500s onwards.) The object was part of the private collection of Dr Noel Hamonic (d 1928), purchased by Henry Wellcome in July 1928 for £803. Another part of the collection had been purchased in June 1928. Contributors: Science Museum, London. Work ID: mvdqm7pe.

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