1920s Beaded Snake Lariat

About Details History

During WW1, Turkish prisoners of war captured by British, Australian, Russian, and French armies were housed in Egyptian prison camps. To combat boredom (and to have something to barter for extra food) they were allowed to craft snakey souvenirs that looked a lot like this one. Snakes were considered to be good luck symbols in parts of the Ottoman empire, and crocheting with beads was well established in the area. The surviving POW beaded snake souvenirs are HIGHLY collectible, but this isn't one of them, sadly. It was likely made between WW1 and WW2 by village women in Greece and Macedonia for local use and to sell as souvenirs. They saw how popular they were during the war and made their own, which are exquisite. We'd wear it lariat-style, with the head threaded through the loop hanging from the snake's tail. 

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  • Materials: glass beads on cloth
  • Age: c. 1920 
  • Condition: excellent
  • Size: 17" long
  • Location: to see this piece in person, please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 
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ART DECO (1915 – 1940) Art Deco is highly recognizable for its minimalism and futurism. Simultaneous art movements—Cubism, Bauhaus—informed the geometric style, along with “exotic” foreign influences like the Ballet Russe. Motifs like ziggurats and sunbursts, stripped of visual clutter, conveyed the optimism of an increasingly technological world. In jewelry, the predominant use of white metals let colorful gems take center stage. Stones that were opaque and true in color, like lapis lazuli, onyx, jade, coral, and opal were worked into designs alongside more precious and brilliant gems, like diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Extra-long beaded necklaces and tasseled “sautoirs” followed the narrow flapper silhouette. The baguette cut was an Art Deco innovation, and the decade saw increased use of other angular diamond cuts, like the precise caliber cut and the emerald cut. Synthetic gems, like sapphires, were celebrated as a scientific marvel. Marcel Tolkowsky, 21 years old at the time, published the design for the round brilliant cut in 1919.
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About Details History

During WW1, Turkish prisoners of war captured by British, Australian, Russian, and French armies were housed in Egyptian prison camps. To combat boredom (and to have something to barter for extra food) they were allowed to craft snakey souvenirs that looked a lot like this one. Snakes were considered to be good luck symbols in parts of the Ottoman empire, and crocheting with beads was well established in the area. The surviving POW beaded snake souvenirs are HIGHLY collectible, but this isn't one of them, sadly. It was likely made between WW1 and WW2 by village women in Greece and Macedonia for local use and to sell as souvenirs. They saw how popular they were during the war and made their own, which are exquisite. We'd wear it lariat-style, with the head threaded through the loop hanging from the snake's tail. 

less
more

  • Materials: glass beads on cloth
  • Age: c. 1920 
  • Condition: excellent
  • Size: 17" long
  • Location: to see this piece in person, please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 
less
more
ART DECO (1915 – 1940) Art Deco is highly recognizable for its minimalism and futurism. Simultaneous art movements—Cubism, Bauhaus—informed the geometric style, along with “exotic” foreign influences like the Ballet Russe. Motifs like ziggurats and sunbursts, stripped of visual clutter, conveyed the optimism of an increasingly technological world. In jewelry, the predominant use of white metals let colorful gems take center stage. Stones that were opaque and true in color, like lapis lazuli, onyx, jade, coral, and opal were worked into designs alongside more precious and brilliant gems, like diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Extra-long beaded necklaces and tasseled “sautoirs” followed the narrow flapper silhouette. The baguette cut was an Art Deco innovation, and the decade saw increased use of other angular diamond cuts, like the precise caliber cut and the emerald cut. Synthetic gems, like sapphires, were celebrated as a scientific marvel. Marcel Tolkowsky, 21 years old at the time, published the design for the round brilliant cut in 1919.
less
more