Sunday, 23 January 2011

An 1840's turquoise serpent necklace

Bonhams London will be auctioning this great example of one of the most popular pieces during the Early Victorian period in England. A Serpent head necklace set in turquoise with garnets and diamonds. In the mid XIX century many english businessmen went on exploratory commercial trips to Asia bringing back with them exotic gemstones like the Turquoise which became very fashionable for both its lively colour and its reasonable cost. The serpent snake bitting its tail motif had been used since the middle of the eighteen century as a symbol of eternity. This piece with cabochon turquoise head, diamond eyebrows and lips and garnet eyes is the most typical setting for this period. The necklace is not signed but it comes boxed by Hancocks, London jewellers since 1849.