One might argue about which was more famous: Death from Lübeck or der Liebe Tod von Basel... The mural in Basel was the longer. With its [66 yards] and 39 dancing couples, it was twice as long as the painting in Lübeck. The painting was from circa 1440, and thus 20-25 years older than the painting in Lübeck.The Kleinbasel Dance of Death was destroyed in the 1860s; the original Großbasel Dance of Death was destroyed in 1805. Matthäus Merian's copperplates are shown below:
Death from Basel was in particular made famous through the copperplates that Matthäus Merian created (1616-1649). Merian's copperplates, along with copies made by Chovin, Beck and Felix Schneider were published in countless editions through several centuries and made Basel's Dance of Death famous throughout Europe.
It must be remembered though, that when Merian produced his copperplates, the painting was already 200 years old and had gone through several restorations and changes, especially by Hans Kluber in 1568... In fact, Basel had two Dances of Death. In the nunnery in Kleinbasel was a copy of the Dance of Death from Großbasel. This copy had been better protected against wind, weather, vandalism and renovations, and there we can see how the Dance of Death in Basel must have looked originally before all the changes.
A small watch in the form of a skull [is] said to have been given by Mary, Queen of Scots to Mary Seaton, one of her maids of honor. The skull is silver gilt and is engraved with figures of Death, Time, Adam and Eve, and the Crucifixion. The works occupy the brain's position in the skull fitting into a silver bell which fills the entire hollow of the skull. The hours are struck on this bell by a small hammer on a separate train.
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