"Respice post te. Hominem te memento."
October 4, 2016 9:00 PM   Subscribe

In Ancient Rome, memento mori was a Latin expression meaning "remember that you have to die," originating from a traditional means of keeping generals humble. In art, a memento mori is "an object kept as a reminder of the inevitability of death, such as a skull." In the United Kingdom, Memento Mori is a shop which specializes in objects and antiques which are macabre in nature. (Instagram) (Facebook)
posted by Johnny Wallflower (36 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
We have a random skull in our house my housemate bought; my ex also had a few random skulls. They're good to keep them around, I guess, though my fear of mortality is a bit too real I've gotten used to them.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:11 PM on October 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


In San Francisco, the go-to spot is Loved to Death on Haight Street.
posted by blob at 9:16 PM on October 4, 2016


Dammit blob, now I have to buy this spider.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:19 PM on October 4, 2016


sir, you dropped your cologne.
posted by clavdivs at 9:31 PM on October 4, 2016




Yes... that's why I have so many skulls.
posted by adept256 at 10:32 PM on October 4, 2016 [10 favorites]


paging mefite memento maury who is also on my fave names list
posted by poffin boffin at 10:59 PM on October 4, 2016 [12 favorites]


I didn't realize I wanted or needed a bone tiara until tonight.

I have a few locks of hair saved from a dear relative who died a few years ago. I'm planning on looking for an artist to make it into a piece of Victorian mourning jewelry.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:11 PM on October 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


As a medical doctor, I have always wanted a real human skeleton in my office. I had a really nice plastic one that was super popular with the kids who came in for their check ups. People would leave cigarettes in his mouth, hats on his head, and almost daily would position his hands to flip the bird. His name was Wayne and he'd come home every year on October 31 for my buddy's annual Halloween blowout (if you lived in Seattle in between 1998 and 2008, then you certainly made it to Greg's party and you certainly met Wayne). Anyway, Wayne, like so many other guests at Greg's went home with a drunken stranger he probably regretted one year and now he's gone.

But seriously, it's the goth market that's driven up the price of a quality human skeleton for those of us with a "legitimate " reason to own one and, well, my birthday is in my profile page and any Mefite who can help out will get naming rights.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:26 PM on October 4, 2016 [20 favorites]


But seriously, it's the goth market that's driven up the price of a quality human skeleton for those of us with a "legitimate " reason to own one and, well, my birthday is in my profile page and any Mefite who can help out will get naming rights.

I'm using mine right now but it's yours once I'm done with it if you like.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:09 AM on October 5, 2016 [22 favorites]


In San Francisco, you could also try Paxton Gate.

Muriel Spark's novel Memento Mori is also a highly recommended read.
posted by vacapinta at 1:14 AM on October 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


As a medical doctor, I have always wanted a real human skeleton in my office.

We had an actual, factual, used-to-live-in-a-corpse skeleton in my sixth grade classroom. Our teacher dubbed it Fred.

Fred came in a big shipping box during the first few weeks of school, some assembly required. She explained how she could tell it had come from a man's body rather than a woman's, shattering quite a few children's beliefs about the existence of a penis bone. She also said that the supply company Fred came from sourced their skeletons from corpses floating in the Ganges River.

We dressed him up for every holiday, of course.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:34 AM on October 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


I would love to become a momento mori. I'm planning on having something tattooed about my person to that effect - though in my case a bee, because I'm deadly allergic to both bee venom and overwork, and if I try and sting someone with my butt I'll probably come off on the wrong end of it.
posted by Jilder at 1:45 AM on October 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


a traditional means of keeping generals humble

That worked well, didn't it?
posted by Segundus at 2:10 AM on October 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


"Remember you are a genocidal psychopath" would have been more apt, in many cases
posted by thelonius at 2:37 AM on October 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Danse Macabre used to be the go-to store in New York. Also, for entirely freaking me out. If that was the goal, then job accomplished.
posted by datawrangler at 2:54 AM on October 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


We had an actual, factual, used-to-live-in-a-corpse skeleton in my sixth grade classroom. Our teacher dubbed it Fred.

One of my high school teachers (Richard Abell; may his name live forever) had a skeleton in his classroom. Richard also had a set-up for students to make and drink coffee and tea. The entire ensemble was Dick and Harry's Soup Kitchen and Tea Room. Harry was, of course, the skinny guy. Oh, the memories.
posted by datawrangler at 2:57 AM on October 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Wow, that's only a couple of miles from where I live. I didn't think we did weird like that round here. Must take a look.
posted by dowcrag at 3:34 AM on October 5, 2016


But seriously, it's the goth market that's driven up the price of a quality human skeleton for those of us with a "legitimate " reason to own one and, well, my birthday is in my profile page and any Mefite who can help out will get naming rights.

Don't blame the goths; it's a supply issue, not a demand issue. India banned the export of human remains in 1987, and China, the subsequent largest supplier, banned it in 2008. (source) It used to be you could buy a skull online for $400; now you're looking at around $1700.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:12 AM on October 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I would love to become a momento more.
André Tchaíkowsky managed this rather stylishly.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:24 AM on October 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Fred came in a big shipping box during the first few weeks of school, some assembly required. She explained how she could tell it had come from a man's body rather than a woman's, shattering quite a few children's beliefs about the existence of a penis bone. She also said that the supply company Fred came from sourced their skeletons from corpses floating in the Ganges River.

Uneeda Medical Supply in Louisville, Kentucky, no doubt.
posted by Gelatin at 4:35 AM on October 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


>the supply company Fred came from sourced their skeletons from corpses floating in the Ganges River.

"We promise that we got these bones from people who were completely done using them." Not to be excessively paranoid, but... am I the only person who's skeptical that a market for human bones is a really good idea?
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:25 AM on October 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


As you get older your own body becomes your memento mori.

(also be careful people - it is illegal to own human remains in a lot of places)
posted by srboisvert at 6:06 AM on October 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


One of the two owners, Starla Dupres, dresses like Wednesday Addams (the girl in the family) on their "about us" page, although she leans toward kink instead of mordancy in another online photo.
posted by kozad at 6:29 AM on October 5, 2016


Memento Mori is also a gift shop at Walt Disney World that sells Haunted Mansion themed stuff, including a lenticular photo that makes you look corpsified and gross.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:25 AM on October 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I also have hair I want to make into Victorian mourning jewelry, but I have never been able to find a place that does it even half as well as they did.
posted by corb at 7:41 AM on October 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not long ago I was given a beautifully-made braided hairpiece crafted from my great-grandmother's hair. I was told that when young girls married in the 19th century, many had their youthful locks styled by a wigmaker into something they could wear over their newly shortened 'dos. Her hair color matches my own. The braids would work well framed.

Last week I stuck the box with the braids into my bag when I had a doctor's visit. When he commented on my lack of grey hair, I replied, "I have my great-grandmother's hair. It's right here--" and produced the box.

LOLs all around.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:10 AM on October 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


I expected skulls and skeletons in the natural history section, but the horse eyeballs were a bit of a surprise.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:49 AM on October 5, 2016


For all your animal and human bone needs, don't forget the classic go-to, BoneRoom.com.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:03 AM on October 5, 2016


I have a plaque that came off a casket hanging over my bed that reads "at rest." The better part of the story is that I saw one in an antique shop when I was a teenager and told my grandma about it and she said, "Yeah, those are great! Here, I have 2." The one currently hanging and also one off the casket of a relative, with his name and birth/death dates on it. I come by my tacky sense of humor honestly, at least.

A good friend of mine runs a small oddities shop and it's a weird world of suppliers and collectors, for sure.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 10:23 AM on October 5, 2016


I really want the hand flower. Like, a lot. Not "don't eat for six months" a lot, but a lot.
posted by Deoridhe at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


One of these centuries I'll have to try my hand at Victorian Style hair jewelry. When I finished my first multi-year cross-stitch I stitched my initials in with my own hair, as it's long and strong enough for the purpose, and I've always liked Victorian Hair Jewelry. I could snip some covert locks before I start silvering all over and see what I can do.
posted by Deoridhe at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


India banned the export of human remains in 1987, and China, the subsequent largest supplier, banned it in 2008. (source) It used to be you could buy a skull online for $400; now you're looking at around $1700.

I favor a conservationist approach where skeleton collectors can pay a fee to hunt their quarry on reservations, with the proceeds going to sustainable human habitat development elsewhere. Sadly, this kind of big government prohibition just makes people turn to poaching.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:48 AM on October 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


USD$650 for a quality skeleton cast?!?!
ffffuuuuuu

What do people recommend for a teaching skeleton cast?
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:00 AM on October 6, 2016


Dammit blob, now I have to buy this spider.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 0:19 on October 5


Thanks a lot.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:58 AM on October 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Memento Mori in LA.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:39 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


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