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With the dawn of the Victorian era comes quite a distinct change in the faces of antique snake jewelry. This is particularly thanks to the snake becoming a more romantic motif, symbolizing eternal love. On the announcement of Queen Victoria's engagement to Prince Albert in 1839, he presented her with an 18-carat gold serpent engagement ring, set with rubies for the eyes, diamonds for the mouth, and a large emerald at the center.

This new romantic association transformed the representation of snakes in jewelry, which were now usually depicted from above, often with closed mouths and wide-set eyes, and friendlier, sweeter, more romantic-looking features. They often also had heads encrusted in gems or set with pearls, like this beauty.

I believe that this snake is of particular historical importance as it seems to pre-date Victoria’s reign and serve as inspiration for the popular motif that her royal engagement ring sparked. This rare nesting snake is an all original example with a textured body, early 18ct hallmark, and wonderful countenance:


Materials & Features: Pearls, Garnets, 18ct gold

Age/Origin: 19th c, 1825-1840 English

Measurements: Size 6, 6.27 grams

Condition: Excellent condition. Minor associated age wear. 

Please view and inspect any photos closely. We endeavor to fully disclose all condition information clearly and concisely, however, please note that what qualifies as excellent condition for historical jewelry differs from modern and contemporary pieces; please take the age of the piece into account when examining the piece. Minor age wear is typical and to be expected for antique and vintage jewelry. Unless otherwise stated, gemstones have not been officially graded for color, clarity, or treatment by GIA; any information provided is our own educated, professional assessment.

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