Memento Mori Beads

This carved ivory and silver rosary is from Germany in the the early 16th century. Each bead has a head divided between face and skull, with certain beads showing a decaying face. It’s a reminder that life is fleeting.

Two of the beads form the inscription, “Remember death / This is what you will be.”

Metropolitan Museum of Art, gallery 306. Photos used under Creative Commons (CC0 1.0.)