Silver Skeleton Seal

Project details

  • Date

     January 31, 2015

  • Task

     Study Collection

  • Category

     Religion, Silver

  • Object number – 4049- JR
  • Material – Silver
  • Place of Origin – England
  • Date – 17th Century
  • Context – James Fort Northern Bulwark
  • Location – Archaearium
  • Category – Religion

This silver seal bears an intricate scene reminding its owner of the short time he had on Earth. A skeleton holds both an hourglass and an arrow, representing the passage of time and the shortness of life. The owner’s initials, “L F,” are above the hourglass. After pushing it into hot wax, the seal would then have been pressed onto documents in order to seal them. This image of the seal has been digitally reversed, as the initials would need to be backwards so that they would appear correctly on the document. “L F” is unknown, but he most likely faced his mortality at Jamestown.