Silver vinaigrette in the shape of a skull, Europe, 1701–180

Active selection in cart:
Silver vinaigrette in the shape of a skull, Europe, 1701–180. Likes pomanders, vinaigrettes could be used as a vessel to hold strong smelling substances to be sniffed should the user be passing through a particularly smelly area. At a time when miasma theories of disease – the idea that disease was carried by foul air – were dominant, carrying a vinaigrette was considered a protective measure. Vapours from a vinegar-soaked sponge in the bottom were inhaled through the small holes in the top of the ‘acorn’. If a person felt faint they could also sniff their vinaigrette and the sharp vinegar smell might shock the body into action. The skull was probably hung from a piece of cord or necklace and carried at all times. It is shown here with another skull-shaped example (A641486). Contributors: Science Museum, London. Work ID: apbjjwcq.

Free public domain image

To download this free image, please register (this takes just 30 seconds) or log in.

Video guide

This is one of 931,463 free hi-res public domain images, selected from major public collections to complement the Look and Learn archive, and to save you time and money. Typically, it may be used for any purpose, but users should check the precise terms and satisfy themselves that the intended use will not infringe the rights of any third party.

Buy products

You can buy personalised gifts, including t-shirts, tote bags and mousemats, featuring this image from our print partner, Zazzle:

Choose products

Can we help?

Look and Learn is one of the world’s leading sources of historical and cultural images for personal and commercial use. Feel free to contact us with any questions or requests.

Links