Memento Mori Poison Ring
This absolutely stunning highly detailed hinged opening skull ring opens to reveal a bezel that can hold a tiny picture, lock of hair, cotton ball piece dipped in perfume, etc. The band features two bones that wrap entirely around the finger.
A poison ring or pillbox ring is a type of ring with a container under the bezel or inside the bezel itself which could be used to hold poison or another substance; they became popular in Europe during the sixteenth century. The poison ring was used either to slip poison into an enemy's food or drink, or to facilitate the suicide of the wearer in order to preclude capture or torture. Rings like this have been used throughout history to carry perfume, locks of hair, devotional relics, messages and other keepsakes, so they have also been known by other names. Artists would paint tiny portraits of loved ones, to be carried in what was called a “locket ring,” which was popular during the Renaissance. By the 17th century, jewelers were creating locket rings in the shape of caskets which served as mementos for mourners. These were called “funeral rings.” Rings with compartments are also called “box” rings or “socket” rings.
This ring is a link to the tradition of the memento mori - an object designed to remind us that life is brief and that we should seize the moment while we are here.
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