Statue of cadaver and the Mercer

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Science Museum Group
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Plaster statue depicting cadaver in yellow hat seizing The Mercer, one of a set of 37 statues, representing the Dance of Death, probably English, early to mid 19th century

This is one of a set of 37 statues representing the dance in which death summons reluctant mortal revellers to join his dance. The story of Death Calling the Dance is reputedly of German origin. The imagery arose in the 1400s when Europe was ravaged by the Black Death and other outbreaks of plague. It was made famous throughout Europe by copperplate engravings, particularly during the 1600s when plague returned in force.


Classical & Medieval Medicine
Object Number:
A654860 Pt28
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sculpture

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