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Late 19th Century Gunmetal Snake Bar Brooch


Copper, zinc, and tin have been used in combination for at least two thousand years. Together, these three alloys make a single metal of superior strength. People began calling it “gunmetal” after it was used to build cannons in the Middle Ages. Characterized by its matte, dark gray appearance, gunmetal has long been abandoned for use in weaponry in favor of the more durable steel, but it has retained a place in the manufacture of jewelry and other decorative objects. This c. 1890 guard chain is fashioned from gunmetal and measures 60" in length. This high design, low-ish materials snake brooch is made in gunmetal and 18k gold. The pin is engraved "Metaux Divers" (mixed metals). French hallmarks.


  • Materials

    gunmetal, 18k gold (marked)

  • Age

    c. 1890

  • Condition

    Very good

  • Size

    2 5/8"

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please note:Terms of Sale

Antiques can be returned unworn and in original condition within 10 days of delivery for an exchange or refund minus the cost of shipping. Once a piece has been altered, including ring re-sizing, it is FINAL SALE.

RelatedHistory Lesson

Snakes:Fertility, Power, Wisdom, Renewal and Healing.

Serpents were the bodyguards of the ancient world.