Momento Mori ring
Silver ring, the square beze set with a cabochon amethyst with fluting at the sides and enamelled black spotted with white, the hoop enamelled black on the shoulders which end in a skull and crossed bones
17.12 mm internal ring diameter; 6.93 g weight
Bought in Paris
Presented by Dr C.D.E. Fortnum in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, 1897; WA1897.CDEF.F563
Mortality rates were high in the sixteenth and seventeenth century due to war, plague and famine and Memento Mori rings such as this example were intended to remind the wearer of their mortal state.
Scarisbrick and Henig, Finger Rings, 2003, pl. 20.4