Paradise Pearl

Antique pin in snake shape with oriental pearl & diamonds, around 1900

The snake was a recurring motif of the 19th century. It can be found many times in the fine and applied arts, as it was not only appreciated for its beauty. In the arts of the years around 1900, in Art Nouveau and Symbolism, it was regarded as a symbol of seduction: in Franz von Stuck's work, for example, it is repeatedly found as a companion of those women who embody the archetype of the seductress or femme fatale. This snake is made of gold and silver and its body is set with countless small diamonds that refract the light like shiny scales. Their workmanship is particularly precious, as the vast majority of these diamonds are old-cut and not smaller diamond roses. Unusual is also the head, which is not executed as a goldsmith's work, but is formed by another, larger old-cut diamond. In the mouth the snake does not carry an apple, like Eve's temptress, but a baroque oriental pearl. Its remarkably beautiful luster iridesces from rose tones to blue to green; with a cream base tone, it adds a warmer component to the cool luster of the diamonds. A seduction for jewellery lovers, this pin in the shape of a snake combines three of the classic materials of jewellery history - gold, diamonds and a pearl - in an original design.

In terms of dazzling ambiguity, the serpent surpasses every other animal in mythology. According to the Bible's creation account, Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden at the beginning and were happy in harmony with nature and all other living creatures - until the devilish serpent came into play. The treacherous creeping creature persuaded Eve to nibble from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, contrary to God's command, which meant expulsion from paradise and the demise of innocence. On the one hand, the serpent was considered dangerous and unpredictable and was feared for its venom. On the other hand, it was admired for its mysterious beauty and its shedding of skin symbolized renewal and rebirth. In pre-Christian cultures, its supposed magic and power made the reptile perfect for granting protection to both gods and kings, and in this capacity it adorned the headscarves of pharaohs. But the serpent also stands at the end of ancient Egyptian history: In 30 BC, Cleopatra committed suicide by biting a snake in front of the advancing Romans, ending the 3000-year history of the pharaonic empire.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.