Jewellery history. Snake bracelets

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Do you like snake rings and bracelets? I love them! I did not make any so far... thinking that it was a too easy idea. It sure was! :) They keep coming back in fashion again and again. Here is a gorgeous modern snake bracelet, for example:

This one of a kind Weny Yue pave ruby snake cuff is accented with white opals and diamonds set in 18kt blackened white gold.

Snake bracelets were really big in the 19th century. Jewellery designers got a great inspiration for their creations when archaeologists started finding ancient gold Roman and Egyptian jewellery. The fashionistas of the 19th century wanted the replicas of the ancient jewellery, of course! 

Not all jewellery were the replicas, they were more "inspired" by the ancient style rather than replicated. You can find many examples in Internet if you search for Classical revival jewellery or Roman revival jewellery or Egyptian revival jewellery.

Jewellers did not make the snake jewellery only, of course. You can find many other samples too. My blog post would be too long if I tried to show all most common types of the revival jewellery of that time. So I will stick to just my favorite type of jewellery for that period, that is snakes :)

Gold snake bangle-bracelet, last quarter 19th century
Victorian Gold Serpent Bracelet
VICTORIAN sterling and cut coral beads coil bangle in the form of a Chinese dragon serpent with ruby eyes
VICTORIAN yellow gold snake bracelet with garnet cabochons and faceted garnet eyes, etched design on snake's head, double hinged

This is probably the most famous snake bracelet by Lalique. It is absolutely the best, don't you think?

Snake bracelet and ring designed for Sarah Bernhardt ca.1899
In case you are wondering what clothes the snake jewellery was worn with... Nothing specially made for them, just whatever was in fashion:

Yulia V. Telyakovskii, 1848 State Hermitage Museum
Picture by Gavriil Yakovlev

These are real ancient snake bracelets that have given the inspiration to the jewellers. They are not as fantastic as the later variations! 

Gold bracelet in the form of a coiled snake, 1st Century AD, Roman, Pompei

The rings are quite exquisite:

Roman gold snake rings, c. 1st century B.C.-1st century A.D.


Jewelry Designer Blog. Jewelry by Natalia Khon. Design by Pocket