A beautiful Victorian gold and emerald snake bracelet c.1890, the long sinuous body formed of multiple highly articulated overlapping sections of finely engraved scales in 18ct gold, the head set with a wonderful intense green kite-shaped emerald and the eyes with faceted rubies. The head has scroll work details across it and the nose and mouth are depicted with the very tip of the tongue just showing, the tail loops around on itself and the bracelet fastens by means of a hook underneath the head which feeds through a small hole in the tail, allowing the snake to curl naturally around the wrist. The snake motif has been used in jewellery for centuries but it really gained in popularity during the Victorian era after Queen Victoria received a snake ring from Prince Albert on their engagement. This was not her first item of snake jewellery nor would it be her last, the motif was a favourite of hers and is frequently associated with the qualities of wisdom, power, love and everlasting life. This bracelet is beautifully flexible and feels lovely to hold and wear, the emerald is a gorgeous colour, richly saturated and in remarkable condition considering its age. A truly lovely example of its genre and a wonderful piece of antique jewellery.
Victorian, circa 1890
1 x kite shaped emerald estimated to weigh approximately 1.2ct
2 x faceted rubies estimated to weigh approximately 0.06cts in total
8.5″ / 21.5cm long
Head 12mm wide, body 8.7mm at widest point tapering to 3mm at end of tail