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I didn’t know we had one of those…

Isaac Newton’s death mask. And by “we” I mean the Royal Society.

Several were made at the time of his death. You have to be careful about that, as sculptors regularly touched them up.

Like the famous l’Inconnue de la Seine, which has been (I suspect) heavily recarved. Nobody simpers in death.

I have been fascinated with death masks ever since I had a life mask made of myself in plaster of Paris when I was about twelve. By my mother’s entire special education class.

This went about as badly as you imagine, but it’s a story that needs telling with a lot of hand gestures and mime. And sound effects.

Anyway, I escaped with my life. Not sure what happened to the mask, though.

Today is the anniversary of Newton’s death, March 20, 1726 (or 1727 in the newfangled Gregorian calendar that was coming into use in his lifetime). If you look closely, you can just make out the dent in his head left by that apple.

That’s Uncle B’s joke.

March 20, 2018 — 9:50 pm
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