Make an impression with these small silver skeleton and widow wax seal necklace pendants ... or choose just the skeleton or widow charm ... memento mori
"If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance." ~ George Bernard Shaw
- description -
Here I've used just a portion of an interesting large wax seal. The full size wax seal depicts a skeleton and a woman, likely his widow, holding a bird leaning on a large anchor flanking a large oval.
An hour glass, a rake and a scythe, a wheat sheaf are engraved under the oval.
At the top is a ribbon tied into a bow.
The oval in the center reads, in Latin, SPES MIHI SUMMUM BONUM SCHONDEL with the initials JFA.
- symbolism -
In heraldry, a skeleton is symbolic of mortality.
My best research shows that it once belonged to a widow, the oval center shield suggests this, along with the facts that she is leaning on a large anchor, symbolic of hope, and the skeleton where I presume her husband used to be.
I believe the rest of the iconography suggest memento mori - along with the skeleton, an hourglass and grave diggers tools were common symbols of memento mori and death during the Georgian era. A scythe was commonly associated with the Grim Reaper as a symbol of death because of its use to cut down the harvest (reap) and the seal depicts both the scythe and the wheat sheaf harvest.
The ribbon tied into a bow may be symbolic of something but further research is required.
The Latin SPES MIHI translates I HOPE and SUMMUM BONUM translates HIGHEST GOOD so it is presumed that SPES MIHI SUMMUM BONUM translates I HOPE FOR THE HIGHEST GOOD.
SCHONDEL could be the surname.
Hand cast from a large, heavy steel Georgian era (1714 - 1830) desk wax seal.
The seal itself is the largest in my collection, old steel weighing in at 7.4 ounces with a matrix that measures almost 1 5/8" x 1 1/2"
- approximate wax seal measurement - 7/8" x 1/4" (21mm x 7mm) - very small
- photographed next to an old US dime for scale
- wax seal charm metal - sterling silver (.925 silver)
- select just the skeleton, just the widow, or both the skeleton and his widow options at checkout.
- chain - shown on a sterling silver cable chain with a spring ring clasp.
- select the necklace chain length or just the charm(s) at checkout.
- if you choose the 16" or 18" necklace option and you prefer an oxidized chain - instead of a shiny silver chain - please send a note with your order, otherwise you will receive a shiny sterling silver chain.
More chains, charm catchers and swivel fobs are available here. And if you'd prefer an oxidized chain (antiqued) to the shiny chain shown, simply make this request at checkout in the "add a note to your order" box.
Impressed with history!