Ouroboros Pendant with Pearls and Citrine

$800.00
About Details History
The first known ouroboros imagery (where a snake is depicted eating it's own tail) appeared in Egypt in the 14th century BC. For these ancient Egyptians, the circular reptile shape symbolized Ra and Osiris. Ancient Greeks used the ouroboros to denote the first earthly being. The gnostics used it as a symbol of the soul of the world, and the list goes on. Eerily, many cultures have independently "invented" the elegant ouroboros image to symbolize a version of the same universal idea: there's an eternal cycle of life and death, re-creation and return, a wheel turning forever and ever. This ouroboros pendant, probably once a brooch, was made in Mid Victorian England where the serpent was a commonly employed motif used to express eternity and endless love. The pendant is fashioned in 9k rose gold with a faceted citrine ringed with seed pearls at the center. Hangs from a new 18" gold fill chain.

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  • Materials: 10k rose gold (tests), seed pearls, 11.4mm citrine, new gold fill chain
  • Age: c. 1860
  • Condition: Good - rubbing along table crown facets, wear to the reverse of the pendant, possibly was converted from a brooch at some point 
  • Size: 1" diameter, 18" chain
  • Location: To see this necklace in person please visit our shop in Nolita, NYC.
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VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
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About Details History
The first known ouroboros imagery (where a snake is depicted eating it's own tail) appeared in Egypt in the 14th century BC. For these ancient Egyptians, the circular reptile shape symbolized Ra and Osiris. Ancient Greeks used the ouroboros to denote the first earthly being. The gnostics used it as a symbol of the soul of the world, and the list goes on. Eerily, many cultures have independently "invented" the elegant ouroboros image to symbolize a version of the same universal idea: there's an eternal cycle of life and death, re-creation and return, a wheel turning forever and ever. This ouroboros pendant, probably once a brooch, was made in Mid Victorian England where the serpent was a commonly employed motif used to express eternity and endless love. The pendant is fashioned in 9k rose gold with a faceted citrine ringed with seed pearls at the center. Hangs from a new 18" gold fill chain.

less
more

  • Materials: 10k rose gold (tests), seed pearls, 11.4mm citrine, new gold fill chain
  • Age: c. 1860
  • Condition: Good - rubbing along table crown facets, wear to the reverse of the pendant, possibly was converted from a brooch at some point 
  • Size: 1" diameter, 18" chain
  • Location: To see this necklace in person please visit our shop in Nolita, NYC.
less
more
VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
less
more