A very fine and scarce snake necklace in 14k gold, the chain made up of individual “scales” all interlocking to create a sinuous effect. The head of the snake is finely wrought with chased detail very emblematic of the time period. The top of the head is set with a large clear garnet cabochon, known in England as a carbuncle, the eyes are two small cabochon. The snake dangles a smaller snake locket pendant in its mouth set with another cabochon; the reverse of the pendant has a glass covered locket back set with finely woven hair. The tab clasp attaches into a slot in the jaw of the snake.
Snakes have always had a charged meaning in both art and literature, and often they have a negative association across many cultures. But equally the image of the symbol of a snake biting its tail, known as an “ouroboros”, had mystical meanings in ancient Egypt, India and Greece. It meant cyclicality, immortality - eternity in all things – eternal life for those who were lost, eternal love for all those we adore and hold dear.
Necklaces of this type were meant to be worn close to the throat and this one is no exception. Created for a woman of Georgian times, it will be snug on the neck of today’s woman. I can wear it and the pendant sits at the suprasternal notch, the cavity where your collar bones come together, so it should be considered more of a choker.
Condition: Very good, one little scale is missing
Dimensions: Length when closed is 16.5”; overall length is 17”
The two large cabochons measure 15mm x 10mm, 10mm x 8mm
Hallmarks: the necklace is hallmarked with a French import mark for 14k gold; the gold content, style and construction would indicate English origin.
Gross weight: 21.5 grams