'Nosse Te Ipsum', or 'Know Thyself' reads the inscription on this fully wearable 18th Century ring as a skeleton contemplates existence.
Memento Mori rings were a medieval tradition designed to remind the wearer of the preciousness of life. Often given or made after a death, these rings ask you to reflect upon your life for a moment and 'remember you will die', sometimes with that exact phrase in Latin, 'memento mori', on the ring.
This ring asks the wearer to 'know thyself', and instead of the traditional motif of death being your inescapable end it shows us in three states. We are alive in contemplation, yet knowing that we are, in the grand scheme of it all, already dead. This idea that we are all to end, that is so common in memento mori rings, is met with an optimistic flower to the right of the skeleton. While we are alive now, and death is inevitable for us all, life will be born from our death.
This silver ring with D-section hoop, expanding to fluted shoulders supporting a cushion-shaped bezel, and a raised rectangular panel with rounded edges features an open back to the head (now empty), where someone could have placed a memento of their deceased loved one.
Ring weight: 8.2g
Size U UK/AU, 10 ¼ US/CA, 62 ¾ FR/RU
An exceptional piece of interesting memento mori jewellery in fully wearable condition.
Provenance: Acquired from an established BNTA and AIAA registered ancient art dealer. Formerly in a private collection of a Sussex lady since the mid 1960s.
Important Notes: This item is excluded from our Free Resizing service. As an ancient artefact we will not alter it.