This handmade sterling silver charm reproduces a 17th century silver seal found at the James Fort site.
Preparing for death and an awareness of its inevitability was a preoccupation of 16th and 17th century Christians. Items such as this one, called a memento mori, served as a reminder to focus not on earthly pleasures or accomplishments but on the afterlife to come. In the intricate scene on this silver seal found in 2005, a skeleton holds an hourglass in his left hand, representing the passage of time, and an arrow in his right, symbolizing the shortness of life. The owner of this seal had the initials “L F”, seen above the hourglass.