Extraordinary Art Nouveau going into the early Art Deco Era is this writhing Serpentine 750ct European white gold which is 18K diamond and blue sapphire ring. This unique and exceptional one of a kind original serpentine ring is fashioned with .12ct genuine blue sapphires for eyes that are in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, flea bites, etc.

   On top of this exceptional serpentine in 5 diamonds in a round pattern and 5 diamonds on the tail totaling to a .03ct. Color is G-H near colorless and clarity with VS1-SI1 - very slight inclusions to slight inclusions which were typical and excellent for that Era. I'll take VS any day!

   She weighs 7.1 grams and is a wonderful size 6.25 at the head and at the bottom of the tail is an awesome ring size at 7.5. This serpentine looks like she can be stretched out, although I would recommend sending this exceptional find to your jeweler to resize.

   This ring is extremely rare to find and is extremely gorgeous! I fell in love, especially with the history as soon as I saw it! I walked away for a few hours thinking about it the whole time, I had to go back and get it. I wanted to ensure that this would be perfect for our historical significance in what we do to preserve this fine and beautiful jewelry at BlacK Cat Relics Antiques & Vintage Jewels. $2489.00

Below is a bit of history on this type of ring.

   As one of the oldest and most widespread mythological symbols, it’s no wonder serpents (snakes) remain as popular in jewelry as they did back in ancient Egyptian times. What makes this creature so intriguing to mankind is its dual expression of good and evil, fertility and rebirth, poison and medicine. Throughout time, different civilizations have interpreted the serpent’s symbolism in different ways: the Egyptians saw it represent royalty and deity; in Rabbinical tradition and Hinduisim, the snake represents sexual passion and desire; while the Romans interpreted the snake as a symbol of everlasting love. While Cleopatra may be the most notable historic figure to espouse the wearing of snake jewelry, Greek, Nordic, African, and Native Americans have all celebrated this intriguing reptile in gilded forms with varying meaning.

   The Victorian era incited the proliferation of snake jewelry after Prince Albert proposed to Queen Victoria with the very first engagement ring, which was in the image of a snake with an emerald-set head. For Victoria, the snake was an emblem of eternal love, making her betrothal ring the ultimate token of happily-ever-after. Peaking in the 1840s, the snake represented wisdom and eternity during this period and was a ubiquitous motif on rings, bracelets, brooches and necklaces.

   Despite the slight dwindling in popularity in times after Victoria, the snake enjoyed a brief resurgence during the Art Nouveau period with the help of the renowned French jewelers Jules René Lalique and Georges Fouquet. This elaborate period emphasized heavily on the essence of nature, in which the snake played a prominent role. Marie-Odile Briot put it best: ”The serpent is an archaic underworld god, chased out of the Christian Paradise. Just like a gemstone, its plastic perfection makes it a striking sign of the sacred in nature. The snake is the living abstraction of the line which Art Nouveau would see as the underlying ‘biomorphic’ structure of form.

White Gold

   White gold was invented in the 19th century where it was alloyed with palladium. It became commercially available as of 1912 in Pforzheim, Germany and gained popularity in the mid-1920's as a low cost substitute for platinum. It is an alloy of gold with copper, zinc and nickel. In more recent times the nickel in this alloy has often been replaced by a platinum family metal due to allergic reactions. The different recipes produce different alloys which, naturally, have different characteristics in terms of ductility, malleability and hardness. These differing properties make different alloys suitable for different purposes.

   Several motifs and themes are common to Art Nouveau Jewelry. Natural motifs such as butterflies, dragonflies, poppies, orchids, birds, reptiles, orchids and irises were very popular. Snakes symbolized life, eternity and sexuality. Remarkable Art Nouveau bracelets, rings and pendants depicting writhing serpents were created by Rene Lalique and Georges Fouquet. Beautifully rendered bats, owls and vultures lure us into some eerily haunting Art Nouveau pendants. Peacocks were perfect for showcasing both the elaborate enamel techniques utilized during the period and the narcissism that often defined Art Nouveau jewelry. The dream-like quality of swans was also a favored subject for Art Nouveau brooches and pendants. There was a sense of mystery and fantasy which took on a surreal and mythical form. Grotesques and winged hybrids had a nightmarish quality that was counterbalanced by their overwhelming beauty.


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