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Lot 0146
Europe or North America, ca. 19th century CE. A cast bronze replica of a petite upper portion of a human skull - from a slight individual, or perhaps scaled down from a real skull (it is not a child's or adolescent's based on the closure of the sagittal suture). Other than size, the skull shows fabulous, realistic details and demonstrates that the individual was missing most of his/her upper teeth - reinforcing the idea that this skull came from an older adult and suggesting that it was cast from a real-life model. Size: 6.9" L x 4.5" W x 4.9" H (17.5 cm x 11.4 cm x 12.4 cm)

Skulls are fascinating objects, often used for dramatic effect, from Hamlet's speech about mortality as he looks at Yorick's skull, to the skull on Sherlock Holmes' mantle indicating that he is a man of science, unconcerned with superstitions about death. In Tibetan Buddhism, the display and use of human skulls in rituals is designed to remind us of the constant presence of death and acquaint us with it so that we are not scared of its mysteries. This skull, with its smooth, dark surface and enormous empty eye sockets, would make an excellent statement and reminder.

Provenance: Ex-Vaught Collection, Atlanta, GA

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Dark patina over surface shows age; no lower jaw included (not lost, but was never part of the cast).

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19th C. Wonderful Cast Bronze Human Skull

Estimate $1,500 - $2,500Feb 9, 2017