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Skull pocket watch, different views. Dating from around 1810, the Skull watch is crafted in 18K gold and studded with diamonds set eyes and teeth.

Mary Queen of Scots’ Watch: Large skull watch given by the Queen to Mary Seton. The forehead of the skull is engraved with a figure of death between a palace and a cottage, and a quotation in Latin meaning ‘pale death visits with impartial foot the cottages of the poor and the castles of the rich’ (Horace). The skull is held upside down and the jaw lifted to read the silver dial. The hour is struck on a bell. Made by Moyant A Blois (1570-90).

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Memento Mori watch from the Ashmolean museum. Watches like skulls whose jaws drop open to reveal the time - Incerta Mortis Hora - “The Hour of Death is Uncertain”

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Silver Skull Vinaigrette, Europe 1701-1900: Used to hold strong smelling substances to be sniffed via tiny holes when the user was passing a particularly smelly area. At the time miasma theories of disease were dominant (the idea foul air caused disease), so carrying a vinaigrette was a protective measure. If a person felt faint they could sniff the vinaigrette & the sharp smell was hoped to shock the body into action. The skull was a memento mori- a reminder of death & was carried at all…