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RESERVED Antique Silver Snake Armlet - Serpent Bangle - Dutch East Indies

Here is an amazing Silver snake bracelet which was most likely made in the Dutch East Indies in the early part of the 20th Century - around the 1920s.  This smiling and surprisingly friendly Serpent coils majestically around the arm. He has teeth, eyes and a curled tail and benefits from engraved decoration to the head and tail too. Beautifully made by a skilled jeweller this snake bangle is robust and easy to wear.  There is a tiny Dutch sword mark on the outer of the bangle, just below our creature’s head.  This mark is hard to decipher but I believe it to be the mark used on Dutch silver from 1906 to 1953 where the minimum silver fineness allowed would be .833 up to Sterling at .925.  This would also help to confirm this Armlet to date to the 1920s Flapper era.  This bracelet would most likely have been intended as an Armlet but personally I have a large hand and it sits well on me as a bracelet. How you choose to wear this shining silver snake bracelet will depends on the size of your hand, wrist and arm. The armlet measures 7.5cms approximately from outer edge to outer edge and 7cms across the open middle. The thickest silver is on the snake’s head which is 0.5 of a cm and the piece weighs over 29 grams. Lovely for the very slim upper arm or fabulous as a bangle for a larger wrist it has an open construction. This 1920s bracelet is in very good condition.  A perfect addition to a collection of vintage costume jewellery from the Art Deco era or lovely for a collector of snake and serpent jewellery. 


Designer or Brand: None but has Dutch Sword Silver Hallmark 

Country of Origin: Dutch East Indies 

Condition: Very Good

Decade: 1920s - 1930s

Style: Art Deco

Era: Vintage ( 1920s - 1980s)

Type: Armlet Bangle Bracelet

Subject: Snake, Snakes, Serpent, Serpents

Material: Silver - fineness between .833 and .925

Colour: Silver


Snakes and serpents have appeared on jewellery since ancient times.

A snake can  represent many sentiments and convey messages; they feature in religion and mythology and are seen across many cultures and the centuries. Snakes and Serpents convey the power of good and evil, protection and fertility as well as love everlasting.

The ancient Egyptian Pharaohs wore them to show their status as royalty and their desire for immortality . The snake sheds its skin and becomes new again. Cobras feature on headpieces, body jewellery and are found on other artefacts and are even seen etched on to the pyramids. 

For Greeks and Romans they became associated with healing and people believed wearing snake jewellery would cure them from sickness. The Rod of Asclepius ( a snake coiled around a staff)  was carried by the Greek God of Healing and the Caduceus ( two snakes around a winged sceptre) still remain symbolic in medicine and pharmacology today appearing on medical badges, medals, brooches and pins as well as being logos.  Snakes have their own anti-venom so represent anti-sepsis; their sudden change from a lethargic state to one of movement emphasises the transit from sickness to health. In the Bible Moses uses a bronze staff with a snake to cure.  

In 1839 Prince Albert presented Queen Victoria with an 18-carat gold, serpent engagement ring which he had designed himself. Fashioned in 18 carat yellow gold it had an oval cut diamond on its neck, a large emerald set at the centre of its head ( Victoria’s birthstone ) two red rubies for the eyes and four more oval diamonds for the mouth.  Perceived as a symbol of everlasting love, the snake or servant had become was a popular expression of adoration during these times and this has remained so.


The Armlet has been worn since ancient times; and the snake or serpent has been symbolic in jewellery forever!   It was very fashionable back in the roaring twenties to wear a bracelet on your upper arm and the demand for this look was met by jewellery makers everywhere across the globe.  You can buy armlets in precious metals like gold and silver like this one and also in humble materials such as the range of early plastics that were in use at the time. 

RESERVED Antique Silver Snake Armlet - Serpent Bangle - Dutch East Indies
RESERVED Antique Silver Snake Armlet - Serpent Bangle - Dutch East Indies RESERVED Antique Silver Snake Armlet - Serpent Bangle - Dutch East Indies RESERVED Antique Silver Snake Armlet - Serpent Bangle - Dutch East Indies RESERVED Antique Silver Snake Armlet - Serpent Bangle - Dutch East Indies

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