An eternal connection

Antique medallion brooch with snake motif in red gold, Great Britain circa 1810

In jewellery from the early 19th century, the snake often appears to us as a symbol of infinity. Here, too, a snake with a body of yellow gold coils around a window of glass, behind which the lock of hair of a loved one can be inserted. Thus, the snake symbolizes the infinity of connection by biting its own tail - a motif called ouroboros, which was already known in ancient Egypt. One of the oldest known uses of the symbol was found in Tutankhamun's tomb. Ouroboroi were also often used in mourning jewellery, because they alluded to the eternity of a union, to the never-ending love for a person as well as to the reunion after death and the eternal cycle of life. Especially medallions, which were supposed to carry a lock of hair of the deceased person, were entwined with snakes. Only a little later, at the turn of the Victorian era, they would also become popular as love symbols. It is particularly beautiful and rare that the medallion brooch has survived in its original case. Here it has spent the last 210 years in slumber and has thus been excellently preserved. Unlike the bulk of Ouroboros medallion brooches of its time, it was never inscribed with an engraved inscription, suggesting that it was never used to commemorate a deceased person. Due to the simple design of the brooch, which is stylistically much closer to classicism than to the playful decoration of a few later years, we date it to around 1810.

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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.

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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.