The Skull: A Sign of Life or Death?

If you’ve ever wondered what everyone’s fascination with skulls is, you’re not alone. Many people don’t “get” the skull theme and think it’s focused on death, decay, and destruction. Well, they’re not totally wrong. For instance, skulls are a huge part of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico and other South American and European countries (c’mon, you guys saw Coco, right?!). But is it really about death, or is it about life?

The history behind the Day of the Dead (and the resulting celebrations) is that heaven technically opens at the end of October, and spirits can reunite with their families during the first two days of November. It’s more about family, fun, color, food, and life than it is about death. “Sugar skulls” are a big part of these festivities – often found as decorations for graves, altars, etc. – and they have made their way into American popular culture too as jewelry accessories, tattoos, and themes for makeup artists, particularly around Halloween. These skulls themselves have certainly become a sign of life, rebirth, and family as much as (if not more than!) a sign of death.

Skulls have also been a huge piece of pirate culture – which is definitely an obsession for some. With the Pirates of the Caribbean films, it became cool to incorporate pirate and skull inspired memorabilia – sometimes even to the point of being flashy and excessive. Decorations for homes included maps to buried treasure, ship replicas, and the like – while many boho chic dressers felt inspired to wear longer earrings, feathers, and of course skulls in their wardrobe.

Yes, the skull theme has even transcended into our world at Truphae. Below we’ll highlight a few of our favorite skull pieces from pens to lighters to men’s accessories! 

Montegrappa’s Pirate Pen

One of the most intricate pieces by Montegrappa is certainly their Pirate pen, part of the Cult Collection. This limited edition pen is extremely detailed, from the skull on the cap to the swords and ropes throughout, enhancing the pirate ship theme from top to bottom. Offered as both fountain and rollerball pens, you can find this gorgeous piece in sterling silver with yellow gold detail, or in solid 18k yellow gold. Perfect for both skull and pirate fans!

TF Est 1968’s Skull Cufflinks

The skull cufflinks produced by TF Est 1968 are hands down some of the coolest accessories we have seen. This set of stainless steel cufflinks actually has a balance wheel inside each piece, so as you move, the eyes of the skulls move with you. These pieces make just enough of a statement to draw attention, without being too elaborate. They’re certainly a must have for any pirate or skull fanatic who loves to dress well and be noticed! 

S.T. Dupont’s Ligne 2 Pirate Lighter

In this special collaboration with 2SAINTS, S.T. Dupont has truly created something special – a lighter inspired by the ever-popular theme of pirates, with the depth and intricacy of some of the finest design work in the world. On the front you’ll find a hard to miss skull with crossed pirate swords, while the back features a map to buried treasure. The designs are three dimensional, which really provides an added “wow” factor. Given our great partnership with S.T. Dupont, we have been lucky to get some of the greatest limitation numbers available for our friends. The piece we have shown here is actually 001/288, a find that’s almost as rare as the buried treasure itself!

Finding Your Treasure

If you have your own skull obsession, or know someone who does, these luxurious skull themed pieces would fit perfectly into any collection (and would undoubtedly be the highlight!). From general pirate fans, to pen and smoking collectors, to well-dressed men – these pieces cover a wide variety of enthusiasts. Be sure to check out our collection, or contact us today to put in a special request!


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