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Victorian Jewelry: VJ096

SNAKE HANDLER ( Victorian Jewelry Snake Pendant ): This Victorian hand and snake pendant is a dynamite combination. (c. 1880) The hand is a recurring romantic symbol in Victorian Jewelry. Love, affection and friendship are but a few of the variety of meanings a hand depicted. The snake symbolized eternity, rebirth, immortality, guardian spirit and wisdom. This pendant is an exotic example of the serpent jewelry that was tremendously popular during Queen Victoria’s reign. The “coral” hand in this case is actually formed from celluloid, invented in 1868. Celluloid was commonly used for imitation coral, ivory and tortoise shell. (Warman’s Jewelry – 2nd Edition discusses early uses for celluloid on page 59.) The beautifully articulated snake coiling around the hand is brass. Originally a pin, this piece has been changed into a pendant with a textured ring bale. I find it looks best on a short chain or neck wire. A striking piece of jewelry, full of Victorian sentiment and symbolism. Condition: Excellent. Size: 2” long minus ring, 5/8” wide, 1/2” deep.  


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