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Slide

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1697 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Enamelled and inscribed gold with hair and rock crystal

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Frank Ward

  • Museum number:

    M.12-1960

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 81, shelf D1, box 14

Jewels commemorating the dead were widely worn in the decades around 1700. Stark imagery such as skeletons and winged hourglasses were frequently used and were produced as standard components in stamped gold which might also be enamelled.

In this example there is a skull on a winged hourglass and two cherubs on a coffin - against a background panel of woven hair. The inscription 'MEM. MORI' or 'remember death' reminds the viewer of his or her mortality while the initials EB in gold wire give a clue as to the identity of the deceased who - according to the inscription on the back - died on 6th February 1697.

The slide was a very popular type of jewel at this date. Fitted with two flat loops at the back, a ribbon of silk or woven hair would be threaded through enabling it to be worn around the neck or wrist.

Physical description

Gold slide, with a skull on a winged hour-glass and two cherubs on an enamelled coffin inscribed MEM. MORI (remember death) with the initials EB on a background of hair, under rock crystal, engraved on the back obt 6 Feb 1697

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1697 (dated)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Enamelled and inscribed gold with hair and rock crystal

Marks and inscriptions

inscribed MEM. MORI with the initials EB
'Remember Death'

engraved obt 6 Feb 1697
on the back

Dimensions

Height: 1.9 cm, Width: 2.2 cm, Depth: 0.8 cm

Descriptive line

Gold slide, with a skull on a winged hour-glass and two cherubs on an enamelled coffin, under rock crystal, with an inscription on the front and the back, made in England, dated 1697

Materials

Gold; Rock crystal; Hair; Enamel

Techniques

Enamelling

Subjects depicted

Putti; Memento mori; Hourglasses; Skull (skeleton component); Coffins

Categories

Metalwork; Jewellery; Death; Accessories

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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