Memento Mori Rosary bead, by Unknown (1520, c.)



Memento Mori Rosary bead, by Unknown (1520, c.)


"Bead from a chaplet or rosary; carved ivory with traces of red and black paint. Formed of four half-length figures placed back to back. One represents a young man in the costume of the time with cap turned up and jewelled and a fur-collared jacket over a pleated shirt; underneath a scroll is incised with the words 'AMOR M(un)DI' (Love of the World), the letters colored alternately black and red. At his back is the same person dying, his figure emaciated, with ribcage visible beneath the skin and an open mouth as if gasping for breath; on a fillet the words 'VADO MORI' (I am going to die). The third figure appears to be a devil, or imp with bulging eyes and lolling tongue, the stomach filled with a hideous head. This figure has locked arms with the dying figure as if to pull him away; underneath on a scroll is 'SEQUERE ME' (Follow me). The fourth is a skeleton (Death) holding an hourglass in his right and reaching across to grab the chest of the figure with his left hand; underneath is 'EGO SUM' (I am). A snail and snakes crawl over the skull. The pendant is pierced vertically for suspension." (Description from the Victoria and Albert Museum Collection, London, UK,




1520, c.


Carved elephant ivory with traces of red and black paint.
Dimensions: 5 × 3.7 × 3.4 cm

Item Relations

Item: Back to back with Death, by several authors (1500, c.) Is related to This Item