Slide

1697 (dated)
Slide thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Enamelled and inscribed gold with hair and rock crystal
Brief Description
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
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
Dimensions
  • Height: 1.9cm
  • Width: 2.2cm
  • Depth: 0.8cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • inscribed MEM. MORI with the initials EB
  • engraved obt 6 Feb 1697 (on the back)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Frank Ward
Subjects depicted
Summary
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.
Collection
Accession Number
M.12-1960

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record createdJuly 18, 2006
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