An extraordinary serpentine necklace from the Victorian (ca1880) era! This rare and unusual piece is crafted in 18kt gold and decorated with multiple gemstone accents. An elaborate dragon's head rests at the center, which has an exotic appearance that comes to life in 3-dimensional detail. Swirled repousse texture covers its face, and its open mouth reveals two rows of jagged teeth. Sparkling diamonds and luscious emeralds adorn the surface, forming a row that travels down the center of the dragon's head. The three emeralds weigh .77ctw combined, and the two Mine Cut diamonds have a combined weight of .26ctw. (All weights are approximated.) There are also two deep red garnet cabochons, which represent each of the dragon's eyes. All of the stones are bezel set above the surface, contrasting beautifully with the gold setting.
Dangling freely from the dragon's open mouth is the head of a snake, adding further appeal to the already captivating design. Like the dragon, the snake is also adorned with multiple gemstones, including garnet eyes and a .50ct emerald that is prong set at the center. The face of the snake is completely encrusted with delicate rose cut diamonds, which are pavé set and weigh .70ctw. An additional row of five Mine Cut diamonds lines the snake's neck, weighing .30ctw. Fine etched details add scale-like texture to the gold surface, continuing onto the underside of the snake's head. Completing the spectacular design is an articulate snake chain, which graduates in thickness as it nears the middle. The scale-like chain fastens with a push clasp that is hidden within the side of the dragon's head. A safety chain and spring ring clasp attaches to the underside of the dragon, providing additional security. When worn, this outstanding piece makes a dramatic statement that is perfect for the serpent lover or serious antique jewelry collector!
Measurements: The necklace measures 17.75" from end to end when fully extended. However, when worn, it clasps at 16" in length, with the remainder of the centerpiece dangling at the center. The dragon head measures 1 3/4" long, 5/8" wide, and 1/2" thick. The snake head measures 1" long, 3/8" wide, and 1/4" thick. The graduated chain measures 1/4" at the thickest point and 1/8" at the narrowest point.
Condition: The necklace is in very good antique condition. There is some light surface wear to the piece that is normal and commensurate with age, as well as evidence of previous damage to the underside of the dragon's head that was repaired. Fortunately, due to its location the damaged area is not noticeable when worn, and remains concealed from view. All of the gemstones are intact and securely set. The hidden push clasp and safety chain are both secure and in proper working order. There is a natural patina on the surface of the gold, which is normal and adds depth and dimension to the design.