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  • Place of origin:

    England (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1835-1840 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver and gold, pavé-set with turquoises, with rubies, pearls and brilliant-cut diamonds

  • Credit Line:

    Cory Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 19, shelf A, box 9

Turquoise was used in profusion in jewellery of the 19th century. The bright blue colour echoed forget-me-nots, which signified true love in the language of flowers used in sentimental jewellery. It was also traditionally believed to protect its wearer from danger. It was a popular gift to bridesmaids, often in the form of turquoise doves. In 1840, Queen Victoria gave her twelve bridesmaids turquoise brooches in the shape of a Coburg eagle, a reference to Prince Albert's family.

The motif of the snake swallowing its tail is often found in turquoise jewellery. This ancient symbol, known as the ouroboros, symbolised eternity and can be found as a token of love and in mourning jewellery. The serpent motif was most fashionable in the 1840s. Queen Victoria wore a serpent bracelet to her first council meeting in 1837 and was given a serpent and emerald engagement ring by Prince Albert.

Physical description

Serpent necklace, silver and gold, pave-set with turquoises, with rubies, pearls and brilliant-cut diamonds.

Place of Origin

England (probably, made)


1835-1840 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silver and gold, pavé-set with turquoises, with rubies, pearls and brilliant-cut diamonds


Height: 14 cm, Width: 13 cm, Depth: 1.4 cm

Descriptive line

Serpent necklace, silver and gold, pavé-set with turquoises, with rubies, pearls and diamonds, probably made in England, about 1835-40


Silver; Gold; Turquoise; Ruby; Pearl; Diamond

Subjects depicted



Jewellery; Metalwork; Europeana Fashion Project


Metalwork Collection

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