French, 48 x 79 mm, circa 1840
A rare, large mourning watch key
Case: gold, ivory and auburn hair. Reeded band, two-sided glazed oval medallion, gold mount with scroll motifs. Scenes of funeral monuments. The front side with an altar, decorated with branches and surmounted by an urn. A skull and crossbones lean against the base of the monument. Nearby a medallion with monogram "MCP". The back side with a winged hour glass on the altar, on the left a scythe, in the right a palm tree made of auburn hair. A skull and crossbones lean against the base, along with a medallion with the monogram "JVA".
Illustrated and described in: "The Keys of Time" by Yves Droz, France 2012, p. 66-67.