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Netherlands or Germany (Rhineland or Southern Germany), end of the 15th century.

Netherlands or Germany (Rhineland or Southern Germany), end of the 15th century.

15th century Memento Mori double-faced carved figure

Medieval Art

15th century Memento Mori double-faced carved figure

Mourning brooch, 1754, England. It was not uncommon in Victorian times for bereaved relatives of the deceased to wear mourning jewelry containing locks of hair of their lost loved ones. With European examples dating as far back as the 15th century, the waves and patters created were often very intricate and added to the ornate appearance of the brooch, ring or necklace. These items of jewelry were worn as a memorial to the deceased and also as a reminder of our own mortality.

Mourning brooch, 1754, England. It was not uncommon in Victorian times for bereaved relatives of the deceased to wear mourning jewelry containing locks of hair of their lost loved ones. With European examples dating as far back as the 15th century, the waves and patters created were often very intricate and added to the ornate appearance of the brooch, ring or necklace. These items of jewelry were worn as a memorial to the deceased and also as a reminder of our own mortality.

18th C. wax vanitas    " Vanitas are works of art intended to remind the viewer of the shortness of human life, the uselessness of vanity and the certainty of death. This example features many symbols typical for this type of object, such as a skull and insects that feast on decaying flesh. The other side of the model shows the face during life. The verse scratched on to the front is from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes and reads “vanity of vanities, all is vanity”. "

18th C. wax vanitas " Vanitas are works of art intended to remind the viewer of the shortness of human life, the uselessness of vanity and the certainty of death. This example features many symbols typical for this type of object, such as a skull and insects that feast on decaying flesh. The other side of the model shows the face during life. The verse scratched on to the front is from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes and reads “vanity of vanities, all is vanity”. "

Pendant with a Memento Mori, second half of the 16th century, gilded enamel.  Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire

Pendant with a Memento Mori, second half of the 16th century, gilded enamel. Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire

Pendant and Rosary ~15th Century ~

Pendant and Rosary ~15th Century ~

More wonderful nestuke  Netsuke are miniature sculptures invented in 17th-century Japan to serve a practical function. Traditional Japanese garments had no pockets; however, men who wore them needed a place to store their personal belongings, such as pipes, tobacco, money, seals, or medicines.Their solution was to place such objects in containers (called sagemono) hung by cords from the robes’ sashes (obi).

More wonderful nestuke Netsuke are miniature sculptures invented in 17th-century Japan to serve a practical function. Traditional Japanese garments had no pockets; however, men who wore them needed a place to store their personal belongings, such as pipes, tobacco, money, seals, or medicines.Their solution was to place such objects in containers (called sagemono) hung by cords from the robes’ sashes (obi).

Ivory skull, made in France in the 17th century (source).

Ivory skull, made in France in the 17th century (source).

Netsuke        Place of origin:        Japan (made)      Date:        19th century (made)      Artist/Maker:        unknown (production)      Materials and Techniques:        Carved ivory      Museum number:        457-1904

Netsuke

Netsuke Place of origin: Japan (made) Date: 19th century (made) Artist/Maker: unknown (production) Materials and Techniques: Carved ivory Museum number: 457-1904

Marble "Vanitas"Italian, NaplesLate 17th century Courtesy Daniel Katz LTD.

Marble "Vanitas"Italian, NaplesLate 17th century Courtesy Daniel Katz LTD.

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