finger-ring~memento mori


British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

Finger-ring; memento mori; gold; enamelled; engraved; set with jewels; bezel in form of clasped book; on upper side is white skull between four stones(sapphire, ruby, emerald and diamond), two green toads and snakes; underside decorated with translucent conventional designs; inside book is white recumbent figure with skull and hour-glass upon green ground, mounted on separate gold plate; black-letter inscription on underside of cover; figure groups on shoulders representing Fall from Grace and Expulsion from Eden; back of hoop in form of hands clasping heart.


  • Title: finger-ring~memento mori
  • Date Created: 1525/1575
  • Physical Dimensions: Width: 2.90cm (hoop;max); Width: 1.30cm (bezel); Length: 1.40cm (bezel); Length: 3.10cm (bezel and hoop); Height: 1.50cm (bezel closed); Height: 2.70cm (bezel open); Weight: 15.08g
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: engraved; enamelled; embossed; chased
  • Subject: old testament
  • Registration number: WB.199
  • Production place: Made in France. Made in Belgium. Made in Flanders
  • Material: gold; enamel; sapphire; ruby; emerald; diamond
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Bequeathed by Rothschild, Ferdinand Anselm. Previous owner/ex-collection Bernal, Ralph. Previous owner/ex-collection Parker, Edward

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