Victorian French Jet Coiled Snake Bracelet
The serpent has been long regarded as a symbol of eternity, rebirth and enduring love.
There was a massive revival in serpent jewellery during the Victorian period. Initially as a romantic symbol of eternal love after Prince Albert gifted Queen Victoria a gold and emerald serpent engagement ring in 1839.
The motif then took on a different sentiment following the death of her beloved Prince Albert in 1861. The serpent design was popularised as mourning jewellery, crafted from various black materials as a symbol for eternity and rebirth.
This bracelet dates to the 1870s and features rows of faceted black glass beads set onto a flat metal coil which wraps around your wrist. Faceted black glass became a popular imitation for the more costly "Whitby Jet" material of the times and is commonly referred to as "French Jet".
Care should be taken when wearing this bracelet to keep it from banging any tables etc as the beads could crack/break. I would recommend cleaning the bracelet using a soft polishing / damp cloth and not immerse it in water as there is risk the underwire will rust and become brittle if not dried properly.
The bracelet is in excellent condition, given it is 150 years old. Not many of these bracelets survived given the fragility of the beads.
There are a few chips to some of the stones but nothing noticeable while wearing. You can only tell when looking for flaws. The most noticeable it a tiny chip to the underside of the snake's mouth which measures about 1mm. There is no chip to the snake's tail.
Era: Victorian ca. 1870
The bracelet has an inner diameter of 5cm. I would say it has an additional 1cm-1.5cm extra width owing to the flexibility of the coil.
The bracelet has 4 rows of faceted black glass including the head which means it sits 3.5cm at its tallest point.
The snake head measures 1cm x 1.75cm.
The metal band on which the beads are strung measures approx 3mm.
Materials: Black Glass, base metal