“Memento Mori” Auction to be Held Tomorrow, November 15

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s article on Memento Mori Photography. By coincidence, this morning I received an announcement of an auction for one of America’s largest collections of Memento Mori art. The auction includes pictures as well as paintings, brooches, rings, and other objects that commemorate people who had died. This may be the largest collection of mourning art ever offered for sale.

WARNING: The auction is being held TOMORROW: November 15. I only received notice of it today.

Gold “Stuart crystal” mourning slide, England, late 17th century

The collection comes from the Museum of Mourning Art, owned by the late Anita and Irvin G. Schorsch. Following the deaths of the couple in 2015 and 2014, the Museum was closed and the entire collection is being offered for sale at auction.

Quoting from the auction house’s description:

“This remarkable and extensive collection of over 150 tokens of mortality, grief, commemoration and remembrance, represents over 200 years of private and public expressions of death. The collection vividly documents western societal changes: from graphic symbols of skulls, skeletons and hourglasses of the rock crystal slides of the 17th century, to the Neo-Classical depictions of idealistic perfection and heaven in lockets and rings from the late 18th century.

“As collectors and historians, Anita and Irvin Schorsch did not limit themselves to the traditional areas of Americana collecting of furniture, decorative arts, needlework, textiles, fine arts and silver. Their interest in all tangible aspects of American and English life and craftmanship, from the 17th to 19th centuries, led the couple, especially Anita, to a passionate immersion in the study and collecting of the artful expressions of mourning.”

Gold, ivory, and hairwork mourning pin, Possibly America, dated 1801

You can learn more at http://bit.ly/2iV3seG while the auction catalog is available at: http://auctions.freemansauction.com/auction-catalog/1591.

Gold, enamel, ivory, and hairwork mourning pendant, Probably England, dated 1770

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