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17th Century Death’s Head Ring


In the centuries leading up to the Victorian era, the rude brevity of human life was accepted - even advertised - in popular culture, as evidenced by this so-called "death's head" ring from the late 17th century. It's a piece of memento mori jewelry, which borrows its name from a Latin phrase meaning "remember you will die." Memento mori pieces were prevalent during the 1600s and 1700s, and usually contained fatalistic symbols like skulls, coffins, hourglasses and grave digger's tools. This particular ring is commemorative - the interior is inscribed "J G ob 3 Aug 90" - and it's wrought in 22k gold. The skull is heavily worn but still very much present.


  • Materials

    22k gold (tests)

  • Age

    Engraved 3 Aug [16]90

  • Condition

    Good - skull is heavily worn but still present, band is ever so slightly misshapen

  • Size

    6.25, cannot be resized; 3.5mm shank

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please note:Terms of Sale

Antiques can be returned unworn and in original condition within 10 days of delivery for an exchange or refund minus the cost of shipping. Once a piece has been altered, including ring re-sizing, it is FINAL SALE.