Shortly after I found the news item about the skull watch, I ran across this beer ad, which struck me as quite funny. Advertising certainly was different decades ago, but it’s hard to imagine a time when an imprisoned Queen Mary’s interest in beer would inspire a Canadian to rush out and buy a bottle!
The watch, presented by Mary to her attendant Mary Seaton, is from the sixteenth century. The forehead of the skull is engraved with a figure of death between a palace and a cottage, and a quotation in Latin: “Pale death visits with impartial foot the cottages of the poor and castles of the rich” (Horace). I was curious as to where the watch is now, but all I have found so far is that it was loaned by the Seaton family for display in the 1880s.
Researched & written by Kathryn Auger