A silver metal masonic, WWI or memento mori skull and crossbones charm.
After acquiring this unusual piece a couple of years ago, I have still not been able to find out the origin of this unique skull and crossbones charm. It could be masonic (the skull and crossbones is a symbol widely used in that organisation), a WWI souvenir or even an older memento mori piece.
The skull and crossbones was acquired from an elderly lady who found this in her father’s possessions, and dated it from the early 1900’s or earlier. She had no idea what it was nor where it originated.
The skull made from one type of metal and the bones from another, appear to have been put together in a crude way which would suggest that this has not been carried out by an expert jeweller. The skull appears to be lead considering its weight, which could suggest the origin to be trench art or a handmade souvenir from the Great War.
This is not a modern reproduction.
The piece has been crudely welded together and the bones which were once straight, are bent slightly forwards towards the skull. There is a silver metal bail welded to the top of the skull and two further rings attached to that. One appears to have a silver stamp suggesting that the bail and rings and perhaps the bones are silver. I have not tested it. There is a light coloured residue in the nooks and crannies. This could either be remnants of a cleaning fluid or previous paint or enamel.
A fascinating antique mystery charm.