Inspired by a Romano-Egyptian snake bracelet on view at the Getty Villa, this gold plated snake bracelet winds its two heads around a wrist with graceful curves.
- Diameter of bracelet: 2 5/8 inch - Item #: BRSNKG2LG
The snake is a recurring motif in art and mythology and often symbolizes female power, fertility, wisdom, rebirth, and rain. Spiral bracelets in the form of snakes were worn coiled around the wearer's arm, the continuation of a fashion known earlier in the Greek world in the Classical and Hellenistic periods. Such slip-on bracelets were always worn in pairs on the wrists or the upper arms. On this single spiral example, the goldsmith carefully recreated the sinuous motion of the curves of a snake's tail. Incised crosshatching on the snake's head and tail represents the texture of scales. A second smaller head emerges from the tail, creating an abbreviated version of the more elaborate double-snake bracelets popular in the earlier Ptolemaic period.
Snake Bracelet Unknown, Romano-Egyptian Egypt 1st century Gold 7.3 cm, 0.113 kg (2 7/8 in., 0.2491 lb.) Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman
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