Tired of the pretty and adorable? Put some memento mori in your home. Remind yourself daily of your inevitable demise. Here’s Harow's polygonal skull armchair, which does a pretty good job of hiding the skull from the front, making it just the thing for super villains with a need for furnishings that work while on the job or taking a break. Price given on demand, which means if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it - but one can dream or nightmare.
(Source: Boing Boing)
Hedi Xandt is a German-born artist that mixes styles and materials with talent. The artist invites the viewer to discover his dark and intense universe with his new macabre artwork. The above pieces are a series that the artist refers to as “skull-ptures”. They combine the aesthetics of naturally shaped bone with state-of-the-art and experimental production techniques. The pieces remind me of the old craniometers that were used to measure the external dimensions of skulls.
The Brno Ossuary is the second largest ossuary in Europe. The town of Brno, located in the Czech Republic, was settled in the year of 1243. The discovery of the bodies occured quite recently and definitely by accident.
Before completing renovations in the small town, it is standard practice to complete a preliminary archeological dig. When the digging began in 2001, it turned up some 50,000 skeletons that were stuffed under the square into a medieval charnel. Once piled in neat rows, at some point water and mud had flooded the gigantic underground ossuary and jumbled thousands upon thousands of bones.
The bones are thought to be from the 1600 through the 1700s and are believed to have been moved from an old cemetery to make space for more burials. This is the case for most of the ossuaries and catacombs in Europe. It is the sheer amount of skulls, bones and skeletons that makes it the second largest ossuary in Europe, with the first being the Catacombs in Paris.
Because of the different colors on the bones, It is clear that many of the people died of various diseases. Though all the bones are tinted yellow, having never been exposed to sunlight, the extra yellow ones likely died of cholera, while the red tinted bones probably died from the plague.
Vintage Bookplates Featuring the Grim Reaper
On each bookplate, you will notice the words Ex Libris. A bookplate, also known as ex-librīs [Latin, “from the books of…”], is usually a small print or decorative label pasted into a book, often on the inside front cover, to indicate its owner.
Bookplates typically bear a name, motto, device, coat-of-arms, crest, badge, or any motif that relates to the owner of the book, or is requested by him from the artist or designer. The name of the owner usually follows an inscription such as “from the books of…” or “from the library of…”, or in Latin, ex libris….
Bookplates are important evidence for the provenance of books. In the United States, bookplates replaced book rhymes after the 19th century. The earliest known marks of ownership of books or documents date from the reign of Amenophis III in Egypt (1391–1353 BC).
However, in their modern form, they evolved from simple inscriptions in books which were common in Europe in the Middle Ages, when various other forms of “librarianship” became widespread (such as the use of class-marks, call-numbers, or shelfmarks). The earliest known examples of printed bookplates are German, and date from the 15th century.
Understanding 19th Century Criminals - One Head at a Time
The head of 19th century physician and psychiatrist Cesare Lombroso has been preserved in a glass chamber since his death in 1909. The former professor of forensic medicine’s sleeping face is now displayed in the Museum of Criminal Anthropology in Turin, Italy, along with the wax-covered heads, brains, body parts and skulls of the soldiers, civilians and convicts whom he studied.
Although the exhibition opened recently, Lombroso displayed his collection to the public as early as 1884. The spectacle grew as scholars and doctors, who were interested in his work, sent more artifacts from various parts of the world to support his research. In 1892, he established the Psychiatric and Criminology Museum in Turin, where he formally presented the labelled skulls and wax-covered heads of convicts alongside the tools and weapons which they used to commit their crimes. Lombroso was interested in how physical features could indicate whether an individual was prone to crime or ‘madness.’
Underwater Secrets of the Ancient Maya
Ancient Maya believed that the rain god Chaak resided in caves and natural wells called cenotes. Maya farmers today in Mexico’s parched Yucatán still appeal to Chaak for the gift of rain, Meanwhile cenotes are giving archaeologists new insights into the sacred landscapes of the ancestral Maya.
In ancient times, the natural well, or cenote, acted as a sacred sundial and timekeeper for the ancient Maya on the two days of the year, May 23 and July 19, when the sun reaches its zenith. At that moment it is vertically overhead, and no shadow is cast. The fact that the cenote is directly northwest of the main staircase of El Castillo, the famous central pyramid of Chichén Itzá, is not coincidental. The ancient Maya came here during times of drought to deliver offerings and to give thanks for a plentiful harvest. The Maya people have a strong relation to their gods, their sacred city and their extraordinarily accurate calendar.
(Source: National Geographic)
Stunning Floral Porcelain Skulls
French artist NooN has teamed up with K. Olin tribu to create a pair of beautiful porcelain skulls imprinted with flowers. The black series is entitled Fleurs Noires and the red is Fleurs Rouges.