Originally Published at Conspiracy Archive on 2013/06/04
I’m hoping someone knows, because I don’t have an answer. I did, however, find a few curiosities which only adds to the mystery.
In Antony C. Sutton’s America’s Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones, there’s a reprint of an 1876 pamphlet detailing an account of a break-in at the Skull and Bones tomb at Yale. The description of the painting (or picture) in question is as follows:
Hanging on the wall towards High street was a handsomely-framed cushion of dark velvet, on which were fastened the pins of all the societies which have existed in college, including Spade and Grave, Bull and Stones, and the like. On the south side of the room is a fireplace, and above this a mantel and mirror. Upon the mantel were a Skull and Bones of silver, the skull about two inches in diameter, and engraved “32 from the S.E.C. of 1858;” another of bronze, a little larger than the silver one, and various other insignia relating to Skull and Bones. On the west wall hung, among other pictures, an old engraving representing an open burial vault, in which, on a stone slab, rest four human skulls, grouped about a fool’s-cap and bells, an open book, several mathematical instruments, a beggar’s scrip, and a royal crown. On the arched wall above the vault are the explanatory words, in Roman letters, “We War Der Thor, Wer Weiser, Wer Bettler Oder Kaiser?” [Who was the fool, who the wise man, beggar of king?] and below the vault is engraved, in German characters, the sentence;
“Ob Arm, Ob Beich, im Tode gleich,” [Whether poor or rich, all’s the same in death.]
The picture is accompanied by a card, on which is written, “From the German Chapter. Presented by Patriarch D.C. Gilman of D. 50.” (Sutton, op. cit., p. 233)