Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Haunted Horology Week! Mary Queen of Scots Skull Watch

I'm celebrating the week leading to Halloween with a variety of spooky timepieces!

Not long before Mary Queen of Scots had her own head chopped off, she had this bone chilling silver skull watch made. The case is opened by dropping the under jaw, which turns upon a hinge, while the watchworks occupy the place of the brain.

Likely one of the earliest examples of horological "Memento Mori" (artistic reminders of ones mortality).

See all my past Memento Mori watch posts-->Link


The original engraved dial with 18th century modified to a balance-spring movement by J. Moysan of Blois, France.

Early representations of the watch
(before photography proved its existence)

It is believed Mary gave this watch as a gift to Mary Seaton, one of her maids of honor. The skull is of silver gilt and is engraved with lines of Horace, figures of Death with his scythe and hourglass, Adam and Eve, and the Crucifixion. The lower part of the skull is pierced to emit the sound when it strikes, being cut in the form of emblems of the Crucifixion. The works occupy the brain's position in the skull fitting into a silver bell which fills the entire hollow of the skulL The hours are struck on this bell by a small hammer on a separate train..

She sure must have been a barrel of laughs...

There's something about Mary...

Related Post: 1810 Skull Pocket Watch-->Link

Enter The Watchismo Times 1st anniversary vintage chronograph giveway!-->LINK

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