This small-scale, 17th-18th century, Italian vanitas of a skull carved from Cararra marble is offered for sale by Copages on October 26 at Drouot with an estimate of €3000-6000. (Photo: Copages Auction Drouot.)

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It constitutes part of a cabinet of curiosities assembled by an anonymous collector which will be offered for sale by Copages on October 26 at Drouot. It has a guide of €3000-6000.

The collection includes other reminders of mortality (a tiny silver coffin containing a bone skeleton and a flayed figure in bone and walnut) as well as more substantial pieces.

A pair of 2ft 3in (69cm) wide white Carrara marble reclining figures representing the rivers Seine and Marne are reductions of the figures decorating the Fontaine des Quatre Saisons by Edmé Bouchardon in the rue de Grenelle in Paris.