A rare and unusual late 18th or early 19th century memento mori skeleton in a coffin.
One of the best pieces of Memento Mori I have come across. This remarkable hand-crafted piece comprises of an articulated skeleton in a coffin. Both the skeleton and the casket are made entirely of bone.
The skeleton has movable arms and legs and even his head moves up and down. The appendages and skull are joined to the torso by the use of tiny bone pegs and joints. The attention to detail on this piece is extraordinary. Each body part has been separately carved from individual pieces of bovine bone. Each rib, joint, skull finger and toe has been intricately sculpted and appears extremely realistic.
The coffin or casket has a lift off lid and, like the skeleton, has been completely crafted from bovine bone. Separate small pieces of bone forming the sides, bottom and lid, have been carved with great detail and then joined together using bone pegs. There is a cross on the top of the coffin which is beautifully detailed with a swirling design and I believe it to be solid silver. It has not been tested so as not to risk damage to the rest of the piece.
There is a small piece of the underside of the lid of the coffin which is missing which can be seen in picture 3. This piece forms the rim of the lid and keeps the lid in place on the casket. This does not affect the movement of the lid and is hardly noticeable.
A stunning memento mori reminder, which is especially relevant in our current troubled times.
Due to the complicated nature of import and export laws affecting different countries, unfortunately, this item will only be available to purchase within the European Union.