Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.

Ivory model of half a human head, half a skull, Europe, undated

Science Museum, London
  • Digital Images
  • Online

Available online

view Ivory model of half a human head, half a skull, Europe, undated

Licence

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
You can use this work for any purpose, including commercial uses, without restriction under copyright law. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.
Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
Credit: Ivory model of half a human head, half a skull, Europe, undated. Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Selected images from this work


About this work

Description

Carved from ivory, this model shows a human male face on one side and a skull crawling with worms on the other. A banner with an inscription runs around the man’s face. This type of model is thought to be a memento mori – literally a reminder of death and the shortness of life. The skull was the symbol of death from the 1500s onwards. Previously death was represented as a skeleton accompanied by a living victim.

Permanent link