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Victorian Bone Skull & Gold Snake Earrings

Rare Find
55 Admirers

The Victorians had a fascination with death. After all it featured heavily in their lives from still births onwards. Memento mori is a Latin phrase meaning “remember that you will die.” It also describes mourning jewellery from the 16th through the 19th centuries. Those mourning the dead would wear these items both to remember the dead and keep reminders of one’s own mortality. Close to the body Memento Mori jewellery offered a constant reminder of time and the fleeting gift of life. Decay of the tangible (the body) and the remainders of what once existed (the skeleton and skull) encompass the meaning of Memento Mori. Ultimately, Memento Mori jewellery is saying “Remember you must die and the hour will not be known”. The snakes represent Eternity in the afterlife. These earrings are a typical and rare surviver. The skulls have been carved in bone and the snakes are 18ct gold. They were made circa 1840-1880. There is a matching pendant listed under “Pendants” on our site that match these earrings.

Written by Olly Gerrish

Rare and sure to attract attention!


Date & OriginVictorian (1839-1901), English
MeasurementsHeight 2.7cm
From top of wire to base 3.5cm
Height of larger skulls 1.5cm
Width 1cm
ConditionVery Good
Materials Gold Bone
HallmarksGold elements unmarked, tested to 18ct gold
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