The snake-bracelet motif has been popular for thousands of years — here’s an Egyptian-Roman one at the Getty.
They’ve been identified with the exotic and the erotic, just check out the original screen vamp, Theda Bara, in this get-up. [Her marquee name was rumored to have been crafted as an anagram of ‘’Arab Death.’’ [Her real name was Theodosia Burr Goodman and she was a nice Jewish girl from Cincinnati.] She took snake jewelry even further – to a snake brassiere.
Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII of Great Britain and the great-grandmother to the present Queen, was fond of her snake bracelet and wore it often, and the ouroboros, the symbol of the serpent eating its tail, represents the cyclical nature of life.
Mine is more mundane than that: a Taxco Mexican silver and enamel bracelet, probably from that big postwar surge in Mexican silver artistry. The underside of the snake head is just as detailed, with scales and mottles; I wish I could wear it underside out!
Tell me about your favorite serpentine jewelry items in the comments below