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FAQ

Bones

Are your human bones truly ethically sourced?

Our human bones are nearly always from the ex-medical industry unless stated. We occasionally sell antique bones which are not ex-medical, however, these bones always have provenance to be sure our purchase is ethical. Ex-medical bones are as ethically sourced as you can come by, however, the story behind how human bones come to be in the medical industry in the first place is not always ethical in nature, and has rather a dark history behind it.
 

Are real human bones legal to own?

Yes, they are. In the HTA (Human Tissue Act) it states that we are legally able to sell the bones. We comply 100% with the HTA including the unique fashion we use to ship all our human bone pieces. The bones purchased under 100 years must only be displayed privately, eg. your home, being housed in a private collection.

 

All bones which are deemed antique can be displayed publically, however, we would always encourage our clients and customers to obtain a license, this is at the buyer's discretion as after the human bones are sold it is between the buyer and the HTA thereafter. We would always ask that our clients and customers treat our human bone pieces with respect and dignity at all times.

 

The Human bones we sell are not props, nor tools, but merely display pieces to admire for years to come.

 

Why are human bones so expensive?

About 50 years ago you could have picked up a human skull for around £40.00 at a well-known market, between then and now a lot changed in human bone purchase and sales. The first occurrence which raised the price in human bones was the 1980's when an Indian man was charged with selling a large number of prohibited skeletons, this prompted India to stop the trade and sale of human skeletons, in fear that people were being murdered in order to produce the skeletons.

China took the place of India in the human bones trade until 2008, when the same legality was applied.

it was from then that the market in the human bone trade was conducted mainly within the country you lived in, medical schools which closed down would have a large backlog of human bones which they then sold, and the trading continued, passing from one person to another.

The bones become rarer and harder to source every year and therefore, prices inflate.

There are sellers on social media channels which sell bones much cheaper than ourselves, and you may ask "Why is this?" and then there is one simple answer, the bones are unethically sourced. These bones 90% of the time are grave robbed or acquired illegally through unclaimed deceased, the family members of the grave robbed bones likely still visit their graves and believe they are still there, this for us in as unimaginable crime for which we take absolutely no part in and we advise our customers, clients and intrigued readers to take caution when purchasing human bones off traders from social media channels.

We will always endeavor to keep our costs as low as possible whilst at the same time providing our customer with our own professional sourcing and the quality we source, being taken into account.

 

How strong are the bones you use, will they break in transit?

The likelihood is no. We have never had a human bone piece break or snap in transit. Do you know how strong human bones are? It is pretty difficult to snap your bones right? Apply the same consideration to these bones and you can see that they are pretty hardy things. The only exception would be a bone piece a few hundred years old, as the older the bones the more deterioration and thus the bones become thinner. We always take this into account when shipping and package our pieces according to the piece we are sending to our customer for extra reassurance.

Are your animal bones also ethical?

We use bones from road kill animals as much as we can and occasionally from culled animals. We use trusted sources for our animal bones and have been known to stop producing products using animal bones until we can rely on an ethically produced source.

In our news section we write about ethical sourcing amongst other subject matters close to our hearts. For more information, check back often for updates and sign up to our newsletter for when a new article is posted.

Can I buy a lion skull?

Sure you can, but not from us. We use ethical sourcing and do not stand by any other company

 

who promote the sale and use of endangered species and trophy pieces. We believe that trophy pieces are unnecessary and center around that of the human ego, these are our own morals, we do not impose our morals on others, only to let our customers know where we stand on such practices.

We occasionally sell animal horns and skulls which are sourced ethically.

 

Can you teach me how to do what you do?

We are afraid that some of the techniques we use are unique to ourselves. Mattaeus Ball is a self-taught articulator. His knowledge comes from years of learning different art techniques and sculpture, and has a particular eye for making something "come to life".

What we can tell you is that Mattaeus handles everything from start to finish. Once has created the concept in mind he takes time in working out how that would look in reality and this can often take a while to complete the concept imagining from start to finish before he starts working with the bones.

When working with the bones, he takes special attention in considering how to articulate the bones in a believable and respectable manner. Blocks of wood are then taken and fashioned into beautiful hand turned bases for the bone piece to be mounted upon.

A true artisan, Mattaeus takes time to make sure each piece receives the same attention to detail whether it is one of the smaller bone pieces or the larger more elaborate ones.

We believe in quality over quantity when it comes to the pieces we design, create and sell to you, our customer.  

What makes us different?

We would not sell skulls that were from executed humans or animals.

We do not wish to be like everyone else, our morals are not so lax that we let "you decide" what we offer, and we will not source items that we feel fall outside of our own ethical standpoint. We will never create a skeleton hand "flipping the bird", and yes, we have been asked on several occasions, not dis-including the inquiry to make a human skull into an iPhone charging dock.

We do not create any pieces which damage the bone we use.

We would never carve a human skull, stick horns into one, nor take pieces of human bone and make them into jewelry, as this not only is against the HTA for which charges can be made against you but also our own moral code.

If ever needed our pieces can be broken down easily and taken back to each singular bone in its original form, we feel this is the best way in honouring the bones we work with and is concentrated wholly on the laws of the human tissue act, both seller and the person purchasing can be held accountable for going against the rules set by the human tissue act, and we would never put our customers and clients in jeopardy of this.

Interior design

As long as it is within our ethics then yes we can, we have been known to create furniture and Mattaeus Ball, our in-house artist is also a trained prop designer, and we have been sourcing lovely oddities for our clients for many years.

Our company is bursting with artist talent, flair and a keen eye for opulent macabre decor. Send us an email with your preferences and time frame and we can go from there.

 

Shipping 

Everything you wanted to know about shipping....and more

The biggest question we always have is, how much is shipping. At Mattaeus Ball we make it easy, if the item is over £100 the shipping is completely free, no hidden costs, and that's worldwide.

If it's under £100 we just ask that you add a £10 shipping token from our custom orders to help cover the constant increasing international shipping charges.

and handling charges do not cover the following:

1.Customs Fees

2.Import Duties

3.VAT

4. Any other fees incurred whilst on destination.

All packages are traceable. We send all our items tracked delivery so that you have peace of mind when making an order with us that your item will only be delivered upon being signed for. A tracking number will be sent to you once your item has been posted. Please be patient whilst items are being processed as most of the pieces we sell are handmade by us from start to finish, and this takes time to ensure the quality you expect from Mattaeus ball.

Do not panic if you do not see any progress of transit once you have your tracking number, postal services can sometimes have delays and this will mean it might take a little whilst for them to scan your item into the trackable database, be reassured that usually within 24-48 hours your item will be able to be tracked, we know you are excited!!

When your item has left our hands we are not liable for any delays that may occur.

If your item is damaged in transit please contact us and will endeavor to be of assistance.

Do you ship worldwide? 

With a few exceptions, we ship to most countries.

When you reach the checkout the drop-down will allow you to choose from the destinations we ship to, if however your country is not listed then please contact us and we will look at different ways to accommodate you.

Please be aware that all countries have their own laws in import and export and may have restrictions on the types of pieces we sell. it is the customer's responsibility to educate themselves in the laws of the country they reside in.

Any pieces we sell that are seized due to conflicts with each countries law are not eligible for compensation nor replacement. If you are uncertain of the laws surrounding the legality of the item you wish to purchase please contact your local legal authorities.

What about human bones, can you ship these?

Yes, and to most countries, we have a special way which allows us to do this, please email us for more details and always check whether or not your country can receive human bones legally before making a purchase.

Please see above for more information.

Returns

Can i send my item back if I don't like it?

Straight to the point, we are afraid you can not, and here we will explain why. If a purchase is antique in nature or one of a kind, we are not legally inclined to accept returns however we are not unkind and we do have certain exceptions.

Our pieces are always researched thoroughly and we are happy to answer any questions a potential buyer might have before purchase, we package our items with much thought being placed into making sure each item meets it's destination in one piece, allowing us to ship Worldwide without complications.

Our "one of a kind" pieces are packaged in a very particular way, receiving a return of one of these pieces would likely cause damage back to us in transit, therefore we do not accept returns on these pieces.

If a customer received a one of a kind creation and there was damage in transit, we are more than happy to accept the piece back to us and ship it back to the customer. This is a one time only deal.

If the customer purchases something from our merchandise section and they are not happy due to damages we will endeavor to find a solution for the customer. If however, the customer is not happy with the size or color of the item, we provide information available before the sale with correct sizes and measurements, therefore this would not be something we would be happy to accept a return for.


We provide a discounted service for any customer who has bought one of our Taxidermy roses when they wish to replace the rose, our pieces are designed with this future requirement in mind.

 

Buying,

If you have human bones, a full or partial skeleton please get in touch. We are also interested in any ethically sourced taxidermy, bones, mourning jewelry and so forth if its creepy or dark get the liklihood is that we will be interested. We always offer a fair price in relation to what we know sells well, and if we feel it will hang around too long we may offer our consignment arrangement, we will do whatever we can to accomodate your wishes for the piece you wish to sell. We look forward to hearing from you. 

 

Payment Plans

You may be able to split your payments for certain items we sell. Please email us to discuss a split payment plan.

All items are only sent once the last payment is completed, some of our customers prefer to use this choice with some of our more expensive pieces, and knowing that certain bone pieces are rare and do not stay in stock long, creating a payment plan with us makes sure you get the piece you really want.

Ethical Sourcing

Bones

We have spent many years building up trustworthy sources for our purchases and use these in order to source our human bones.

Taxidermy

We have a wide array of trustworthy sources within the taxidermy circle, we would never purchase something we did not feel good about passing onto our clients.

Insects

We are extremely strict within our sourcing of insects, heartbreakingly many insects are caught and killed merely to then trade onto customers, even the so-called "ethical butterfly" usually purchased from conservations and farms can so often be killed mainly for trade, and we are very careful in the purchase of these beautiful species, so that we can sell our customers a true reflection of what ethical means to us here, at Decorus Macabre.

This includes death head moths and other popular insects.

Jewellery

The majority of our pieces don't have provenance, but we endeavor to go back as far as we can when sourcing an item for sale through our website or for our customers. The things we consider are...

"Is this item grave robbed?"

 "is this item stolen?"

 "Is this item made of ethical materials?"

Our own standpoint is to only sell jewelry which has had some careful consideration applied.

Oddities

The majority of our pieces have provenance, and we endeavor to go back as far as we can when sourcing an item for sale through our website or for our customers. The things we consider are...

"Is this item grave robbed?"

"is this item stolen?"

"Is this item made of ethical materials?"

" Is this item offensive?"

Our pwersonal standpoint is to only sell oddities which have had some careful consideration applied, before making the purchase ourselves.