Antique Death's Head Alter Carving - Memento Mori

Antique Death's Head Alter Carving - Memento Mori

An unusual antique Memento Mori carving of a skull and crossbones (or Totenkopf). Made for the table or alter top and carved from a dense hardwood (likely black walnut) with a gesso layer and grained polish, the back of the piece has angular details and a slot or channel ideal for a candle. A unique and macabre piece of antique carving with an interesting theme.


The Totenkopf (literally meaning dead's head) is the German phrase for the "skull and crossbones", an old international symbol for death, the defiance of death, danger or the dead, as well as piracy or toxicity.


Approx dimensions:

24.6cm Wide (9-1/2")

19cm Deep (7-1/2")

8.4cm Tall (3-1/2")


In great antique condition with patination and wear commensurate with age. Some of the grained polish has worn off with the white gesso beneath visible.

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