A Memento Mori Ebonised & Carved Antler Walking Cane as a Skull c.1890-1900

Origin: English
Period: Late Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1890-1900
Length: 35”
Handle Width: 1”
Handle Depth: 2”

The beautifully hand carved antler handle modelled as a hand clasping a skull above a white metal collar, to an ebonised shaft and original brass ferrule and surviving from the turn of the nineteenth century.

In good overall order, there is some very minor movement to the handle and some small amount of loss but it remains complete and original.

This piece of carving is essentially designed to remind the viewer of their mortality and of the brevity and fragility of human life in the face of God and nature. Symbolic of the transience of all human existence, the image of the skull has been used by philosophers and theologians, artists and sculptors, writers and poets for centuries to provoke meditative thought on the indiscriminate nature of death.  

Walking sticks themselves, while innocuous looking objects at first sight, can also be decently employed to effectively fend off ruffians, or to gaily swing as one perambulates through the town, or even to generously retrieve a child's toy from a stream.

A very tactile and beautifully carved cane.