ANTIQUE VICTORIAN 14K Gold Pin - River Pearl, Snake, Brooch
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AGE: C.1880 or so
ITEM: A most unusual Victorian pin! Fashioned of yellow gold, the design is of a safety pin with the top design of a snake encircling a very large, very long river pearl.
CONDITION: Excellent! The river pearl, at the tail end has a bit of beige matrix; the effect is that it makes the tail of the snake look a little longer than it really is. A little bit of tarnish to the underside of the snake where it is joined to the bottom pin.
METAL CONTENT: 14K Gold
HALLMARKS: None. Metal was gently acid tested at 14K.
SIZE: Length is 1-9/16"; width, north/south on the top is about 3/8".
WEIGHT: 3.9 grams
FINAL COMMENTS: "Snake motifs are one of the earliest historical and culturally diverse mythological symbols, and figure prominently in jewellery. These intriguing creatures and the alluring pieces inspired by serpents through the ages, from the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, represent a host of meanings in different countries and civilisations.
To the pharaohs of Egypt, snakes represented royalty and deity and they wore them as sacred pendants around their necks. Cleopatra might be well known for her head-to-toe accessorising in snake jewels but it was in 1839 that lore and legend made way for the snake to become one of the most iconic motifs in jewellery. This was when Queen Victoria was engaged to Prince Albert and received a continuous snake ring, which signified everlasting love for eternity, with an emerald, her birthstone, centered in its head. Queen Victoria’s ring set a trend throughout England, and eventually throughout Europe, for a range of snake rings, coil-style flexible necklaces and bracelets with gem-set heads, as well snake brooches, cuffs, bangles, and hoop and drop earrings that featured a snake slinking around a gemstone." The Jewelry Editor.
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