A Unique Late 19thC Memento Mori Telescopic Brass & Carved Bone Didactic Pointer

Origin: English
Period: Late Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1900
Open: 12”
Closed: 6”
For medical use and in original condition, the memento mori didactic brass telescopic pointer, the two drawer body terminating in a rippled collar and hand carved antler human skull finial, doubling in size when extended, the whole surviving from the zeniths of the nineteenth century.

Presented in the same condition as it was made, the two drawers are operating smoothly and there is no loss to the bone carving; it has a small hole drilled all the way through to allow for it to be hung from wrist or neck. There are some small scratches to the end.

Almost certainly used at a medical school by a professor, the telescopic design would have been born out of military telescope designs of the time and translated over; we haven’t been able to find a comparable memento mori example; that being one designed to remind the viewer of their mortality and of the brevity and fragility of human life in the face of God and nature.

Very rarely appearing for sale this is a functional and tactile item that appeals on many different levels.