Victorian Romantic Period 18K Gold, Emerald & Garnet Snake Necklace


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A stunning early Victorian snake necklace in 18K gold. The body is worked in a graduated series of scaled links terminating in an ornate emerald- and garnet-set head suspending an emerald-set foliate drop. The construction of the snake’s body is very flexible and feels silky like a true snake. The ornate head with repoussé and chased decoration is more fanciful and resembles a Chinese dragon. The eyes are set with bright garnet cabochons and the head features a row of collet-set emerald cut emeralds. The stones have fine bluish green coloring. The head suspends a drop in the form of leafy twigs set with additional emeralds. A box clasp is cleverly hidden in the head for a seamless appearance when being worn. Following Prince Albert’s proposal to Queen Victoria with a snake ring in 1839, a snake grasping its own tail came to represent the seamlessness or eternity of love and became wildly popular in jewelry. The necklace is presented in its original burgundy velvet, silk and leather fitted case. Tested and guaranteed 18K gold.

• Origin: England, ca 1840
• Condition: excellent, all original
• Dimensions: overall length, 19-1/4”; length when clasped, 16-1/2”; drop length, 1-1/4”
• Weight: 32.5 grams
• Approximate Total Emerald Weight: 3.77 carats

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