19th Century French 18 Karat Gold Rose Cut Diamond and Sapphire Double Snake Serpent Bracelet Bangle
Though it may come as a surprise to some, the snake is one of history’s most enduring symbols of eternal love. Images of Aphrodite have long depicted the goddess of love adorned with serpents. It is for this reason that Prince Albert chose to present Queen Victoria with an engagement ring in the shape of a snake in 1939.
The first British queen to be seen regularly outside the confines of the castle, Victoria is often considered to be one of the world’s first trendsetters. Her wedding alone had a long-lasting influence on bridal fashion throughout England. But — as is often the case — it was the engagement ring that captured the attention of all. Shaped into the body of a snake that coiled twice around the finger with an emerald (the Queen’s birthstone) embedded in its head, the ring effectively ignited the era’s passionate love affair with serpentine jewelry. Rings, necklaces, bracelets, and brooches all took on bejeweled reptilian form throughout her storied reign and even found popularity in the Art Nouveau period that followed her death.
This exquisite bangle bracelet from the late Victorian period is the sort of piece that might have been made with Aphrodite herself in mind. Two times the charm, two dazzling Ceylon sapphires adorn the heads of the snakes, and old mine-cut diamonds replicate the serpent's eyes, with 18-karat yellow gold for the head, body, and tail. A true collector’s piece, hand crafted for a woman with the power of a queen and the passion of a goddess.
H 5.9 cm x W 6.2 cm / H 2.3 in. x W 2.4 in. Interior Circumference 16 cm / 6.4 in. Exterior Circumference 19.2 cm / 7.6 in. Sapphire H .29 cm x W .33 cm / H 0.1 in. x W 0.12 in. 1.20 Carats Ceylon Sapphire Fits up to a 7.2" wrist 15.5 grams French Hallmarks c.1880