Snake Jewellery at O’Reilly’s

Snake Jewellery at O’Reilly’s

15 January

Snakes or serpents are one of the oldest motifs used in jewellery throughout history. Dating back to as early as Ancient Egyptian times when snakes were viewed as a symbol of the unchanging, cyclical nature of life, while the Ancient Romans chose to view snakes as being symbolic of everlasting love.

Snake jewellery enjoyed a huger resurgence in Victorian times when Prince Albert proposed to Queen Victoria with a ring in the form of a snake. This created a huge desire for snake jewellery which peaked in the 1840’s. Because of the regal connection and the connection to romance the Victorians viewed snakes as representations of everlasting love and perfection.

Over the centuries, people have continued to be fascinated by snake imagery, perhaps because it has been seen as being symbolic of opposite dual expressions – for example, both rebirth or renewal with the shedding of its skin and poison with its deadly venom.

Snakes make perfect motifs in jewellery design terms as they easily wind around the finger, wrist or neck making them timeless and ever popular.

Antique snake and serpent jewellery is still highly sought after today because of its enduring appeal and entertaining designs. Today we still see snake inspired jewellery being worn by stars and socialites on the red carpet around the world.

Lot 25; A VICTORIAN BLUE ENAMEL SNAKE NECKLACE AND BRACELET SUITE, the snake head set with pearls, diamonds and ruby eyes, enamel decoration to head and body, gold snake link necklace, with matching bracelet, in fitted antique leather case €7000 – 8000

Lot 185; A VINTAGE DIAMOND SET SNAKE RING, set with brilliant cut diamonds, ruby eyes, 18ct yellow gold mount with engraved scales, size M – N – €800 – 1200

Lot 185