A ubiquitous symbol with a variety of meanings—power, regeneration, protection, and eternity, to name a few—the serpent has served as a dramatic jewelry motif for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, gold necklaces, arm cuffs, and headpieces were fashioned in the shape of the reptile, often to signify the wearer’s devotion to and protection by the sun god Amun-Ra. During the Victorian era, Prince Albert popularized the symbol when he proposed to Queen Victoria with a bejeweled snake ring. Decades later in the 1920s, the serpent resurfaced in art deco rings, bracelets, brooches, and necklaces, and has remained popular in jewelry designs ever since. Today, top designers like Bulgari, Boucheron, Sutra, and others approach the cold-blooded creature with distinctive perspectives.
NOVEMBER 16, 2015