Make a bold statement with this large skeleton and his widow wax seal necklace ... memento mori wax seal jewelry, a reminder that death comes to all living things and life is short so make now matter.
- symbolism -
In heraldry, the 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.
The iconography suggests memento mori - the skeleton, hourglass and grave diggers tools; a scythe and perhaps a hoe or rake, were common symbols of memento mori and death during the Georgian era. The scythe and sheaf of wheat were commonly associated with the Grim Reaper as a symbol of death because of its use to cut down the harvest (reap).
The ribbon tied into a bow may be symbolic of something but further research is required.
The interesting wax seal depicts an oval in the center which reads SPES MIHI SUMMUM BONUM SCHONDEL with the initials JFA.
The Latin SPES MIHI SUMMUM BONUM translates I HOPE FOR THE HIGHEST GOOD.
I cannot figure out SCHONDEL ... in Dutch it translates to sheep but it could also be their surname though that doesn't work with what is likely ones initials. I'm still working on this one.
- approximate wax seal measurement - 1 1/2" x just under 1 1/2" (39mm x 35mm)
- photographed next to a US dime and inch ruler for scale
- wax seal charm metal - sterling silver (.925 silver)
- select the necklace chain or just the charm at checkout
- if you prefer an oxidized (dark) chain please leave a note at checkout
More chains, charm catchers and swivel fobs are available here.
Note - the necklace is suspended on 3 different chains in the photos. The thinner chain is the one available on this listing and you can find the thicker cable chain here and the thicker rolo chain here.
Hand crafted from a very large, heavy steel Georgian era (1714 - 1830) desk wax seal.
Here is more jewelry made by using just a portion of this antique seal - earrings, pendants, and a skeleton ring.
Impressed with history!