The great seduction

Impressive snake brooch with diamonds and turquoise, around 1890

Jewellery with snakes we present to you repeatedly with pleasure. Especially rings from the turn of the century with snake motifs can be found again and again, also bangles and necklaces, mostly from the Biedermeier period, can be found with some effort at auctions and antique fairs. A brooch like this one, however, has not yet come across us... We see an impressive, large animal, shining silvery in its scaly coat of diamonds. The strong head carries a large turquoise, small rubies mark the eyes of the animal so often sung about in legends and mythology. The snake has fascinated people since ancient times. On the one hand, it was feared for its dangerous poison and cunning, and shunned as the seductress of Adam and Eve. On the other hand, however, it was also admired for numerous abilities attributed to it. She was considered a symbol of eternal life, the smartest animal and the symbol of the god of medicine, Asclepius. Our snake was created in the last years of the 19th century. Originally probably worn on a scarf as a clasp, it was fitted with a double pin in the years around 1940 and has since been versatile and practical to wear as a brooch or clip. It is in first class condition.

A special current within the art of the turn of the century was the so-called Symbolism. Formally closely related to Art Nouveau, it was mainly Belgian artists such as Fernand Khnopff or Félicien Rops who shaped this style, but artists from France such as Gustave Moreau or Odilon Redon and from Germany such as Max Klinger also created works that can be assigned to Symbolism. What the paintings, prints, drawings and jewellery designs of this period have in common is that at first glance the designs are often disconcerting or even repulsive, as there was a preference for enigmatic and unusual motifs. Snakes, beetles, skulls and apathetic looking faces populated the canvases to make the viewer think about life, religion, metyphysics and the nature, true to the core sentence of the so-called Symbolist Manifesto of 1886: "The essential characteristic of Symbolist art is never to fix an idea conceptually or to express it directly".

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.