~ Gaudeamus igitur ~
These are the first two lines of a very famous student song often used at graduation commencements and at beer drinking events since the lyrics represent the lighter side of student life and the shortness of life in general. The language is Latin and the full song dates to the early 18th C. based on a Latin manuscript from 1287. The anatomically correct skull is resting on a Commersbuch (students' song book). This porcelain character stein is marked with the logo of Ernst Bohne & Söhne ca. 1900.
Gaudeamus igitur
juvenes dum sumus
So let us be merry
whilst we are still young.
Translation: Chris Wheeler - Stein Marks
Photo credit: Chris Wheeler - Stein Marks