A handsome and mysterious Georgian seal fob.
Gold plated silver with a finely carved chalcedony matrix.
The lower part of the seal has initials in fancy gothic script.
The upper half of the matrix features the symbol of the staff of the messenger Hermes, the Caduceus, two snakes entwined around a staff, not to be confused with the medical symbol; Rod of Asclepius, the two are often confused though the Rod of Asclepius has only a single snake.
The Caduceus symbol saw a popular resurgence in the 18th century, sometimes reflecting on the practise of rhetoric and its quiet slyness and persuasiveness, the practice of rhetoric being the art of speaking and communicating effectively and artistically, bringing with it strong elements of persuasion.
This may bear some kind of relation to the seals owner and their character as it is strong and intelligent choice of symbolism.
Below the Caduceus there is a Latin motto within a scroll: Est Necas Tu
Roughly translated it reads; It will kill you
What will kill you remains a mystery, perhaps messaging in general is dangerous, perhaps they refer to rhetoric practice or intelligence, or perhaps the very opening of the letter sealed contains deadly information.
We will never know, it will remain a mystery but it is a fantastic piece nonetheless.
Would look beautiful on an antique guard chain or as an Albert chain fob.
Made in England, c1790s, late 18th century, silver gilt
Good used condition overall, signs of use and wear commensurate with age, light wear to the chalcedony with a few tiny nibbles at the facet edges, some wear to the gilding
0.75" width at the base
0.5" length / depth at the base
Weighs approx 8.61 grams
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Antique Georgian seal fob, snakes
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