This is a stunning antique bracelet in the classic design of a silver snake. The snake or serpent is an ancient symbol, and symbolized deity in early Egyptian society. Victorian jewelry often used an entwined snake to symbolize infinity and eternal love. Over the years the snake has also come to symbolize sexuality, rebirth and wisdom. While serpent motif jewelry goes far back in history, it's popularity really spread starting in the 1840s and peaked between then and the 1860s.
A very old handmade piece, it is in heavy solid silver of high fineness and as the silver is soft it has lost some definition to the design, but is still extraordinary. The size of the bracelet tells me it was designed to be worn high on the forearm or at the elbow and as the design is beautifully rounded, it is comfortable to wear despite it's weight. It carries rubbed French hallmarks of a makers mark and the Head of Minerva ~ the guarantee for medium objects and used in Paris from 10 May 1838 for silver 800 - 1000 fineness. The silver tests as at least 930 fineness.
Dimensions: inside diameter (oval) is 2 5/8 inches x 2 3/4 inches; the snake head measures approx. 3/4 inches by 3/8 inches, and the body of the snake is approx. 3/16 inch wide and deep; weighs a very substantial 82 grams. This is in wonderful antique condition with lovely patina to the silver. The design is rigid with no flexibility due to the thickness of the silver.
A unique and extraordinary antique silver bracelet. To wear or collect.