Antique Victorian brooch / pendant necklace. 15ct gold, turquoise, diamonds, rubies. Made in England circa 1840-80. <P><P>
Measurements: At widest part measures 4.2cm (a tad under 1 3/4 inches). Weight is 16.4 grams. <P><P>
For full description, please see below.
Description : Antique brooch in the form of a writhing serpent. The snake was a popular Victorian symbol of romance and infinite love, especially after Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a snake ring as an engagement gift. The body of the snake is pave set with cabochon turquoise gems. Eyes are rubies in gold collette settings. Winding through the body of the snake is a garland of flowers and foliage, composed entirely of diamonds with a few Collette-set rubies as highlights, forming the centers of the flowers. The latter matching and echoing the eyes of the snake. Workmanship is utterly superb. A totally exceptional jewel. <P><P>
Brooch was possibly a pendant or front for a necklace as evidenced by the loops on the back. There are two small gold loops on either side of the snake at the back. It is a simple matter to thread a ribbon or chain and use it as a necklace / pendant yet again. It would look stunning perched on the nape of your neck. It also seems that at the time, the piece was used as a brooch and the current pin is a later addition, possibly added over 100 years ago as it matches the rest of the work. These alterations add to the versatility of the brooch and do not detract in any way. <P><P>
Marks and Metal : As is to be expected of jewelry of this period, there are no marks on the earrings. Gold was tested to ensure metal purity. <P><P>
Condition: Good with minor wear commensurate with age. See above regarding restoration / conversion. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer. <P><P>
In the wonderful book on French jewelry of the 19th century, Henri Vever shows a picture of a snake brooch with a similar form, sans the superb decoration of diamonds and turquoise (page 430). Mentioned to illustrate that the form was used during the 1840's, during the reign of Louis Philippe.
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