Antique Early Victorian Snake Necklace 14k Gold Turquoise Diamond English (7160)


Antique, early Victorian snake necklace. 14k (probably 15ct) turquoise, Old Mine Cut Diamond. Made in England between 1840's and 1860.

Measurements: Weight is 30.0 grams. 15 1/2 inches (39.5cm) long, not including tongue of clasp or drop. Diamond approximately .30 - .40 ct.

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Description : Necklace in the form of a snake or serpent. The body consists of pairs of cabochon turquoise, set in gold colettes, back to back and joined via little gold links that allow total flexibility. The head is naturalistically modelled as a snake, but pave set with cabochon turquoise. The top of the head with a lovely, high, cushion-cut diamond and the eyes of red gems. The bottom of the head, that lies on the skin is gold with beautiful, fine engraving of scrolling foliage. The rich gold work flares up onto the neck of the snake - as though to remind us to look at the beautiful work below and add an element of contrast and interest.
Tongue in groove clasp at the side of the head, which is the norm for these snake necklaces and facilitates ease of dressing. There might have been another clasp at the back as one cabochon turquoise pair at the very back is surrounded by an extra loop on either side.
A simple cabochon turquoise drop from the mouth is possibly later.

Snake jewelry became very popular in the UK, after Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria an engagement ring in the form of a snake, which symbolises eternal love. Cabochon turquoise jewelry became the rage soon after and snake jewelry of this sort is extremely sought after today. As wearable as it was almost 200 years ago, and just as impressive and striking.

Marks and Metal: Like almost all English jewelry of this era, there are no hallarks. Gold was acid tested for 14k and is most likely 15ct (the standard used in the United Kingdom at the time).

Condition: Good with minor wear commensurate with age. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer.

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