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Statue showing a skeleton holding a spade and torch, Europe, 1601-1900

This memento mori statue was used to remind people of the shortness of human life and the uselessness of material luxuries. It is in the shape of a human skeleton with a spade in one hand and a flaming torch in the other. It is shown with a similar statue (A641528)

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Glossary: statue

A sculpture in the round representing human or animal figures or small figure groups; a statuette is a smaller sculpture.

Glossary: skeleton

The bones or bony framework of an animal body considered as a whole; also, more generally, the harder (supporting or covering) constituent part of an animal organism.

Glossary: memento mori

Symbols intended to remind the viewer of death. Memento mori are often objects such as skulls or hourglasses, but can also be written inscriptions.