MEMENTO MORI 18th CENTURY GEORGIAN SILVER SKULL AND BONES COFFIN RING JEWELRY
18th century AD. A silver ring with the hoop formed of four lentoid plaques, openwork shoulders with two radiating leaves supporting a large oval bezel frame with scalloped edge, inset with a slightly domed bezel with a central coffin lid with skull, crossbones and a wheel representing fortune, inscription 'memento mori' and a star surrounding.xx
17.80 grams, 24.62mm overall, 17.75mm internal diameter (approximate size British O, USA 7, Europe 14.98, Japan 14) (1").
From the private collection of a Buckinghamshire gentleman; acquired on the UK art market before 2000.
The motif of a skull and wheel of fortune is Hellenistic in origin. The most striking example of the iconography can be seen in a mosaic from Pompeii, today in The National Archaeological Museum of Naples (inv.no.109982), in which death is presented as the great leveller who cancels out all difference of wealth and class.