Friday, 15 October 2010

Best Snake Jewellery in Town!

Whenever I visit the British Museum  -  the totemic emblem of the British Empire(map carving over candle light anyone?) - I often find myself lusting over some of the jewellery pieces from the B.C period.

The Museum is one of my favourite places  in London, it's my little urban temple... you can't help but feel insignificant and small when faced with a catalogue of what  humanity has created, worshiped and immortalised, through everyday objects, artefacts, religious carvings, and of course jewellery.

As Emily Dickinson would say "The only secret people keep, is immortality" but I guess I can share my jewellery shop secret to my 2.4 readers.

Now, I covet snake jewellery. My mum was the same, she always wore an amazing silver snake bracelet. I like my snake jewellery in gold though... which is why I need to own these fabulous snake jewellery pieces from the British Museum shop, which has some fantastic gold replicas of iconic museum pieces.

JEWELLERY: Yes Please!
In the Museum's collection is an exquisite snake bracelet, realistically rendered and detailed with scales on both it's head and tail. It was created in the Ptolemaic Kingdom, the area of Egypt ceded to Alexander's general Ptolemy after Alexander's early death.
And the best bit is that you can purchase a replica for £75 from the Museum shop.

This original gold finger ring was found in Alexandria. Snake rings were worn in Antiquity as charms, possibly for protection against the evil eye or to ensure fertility. Snakes were also associated with the healing god Asclepius who is often shown with a snake coiled around a staff. Graeco-Roman, 1st or 2nd century AD.

This replica ring will set you back £50, and coils around the finger beautifully.

This beautiful gold bracelet is a replica of an original in the Metropolitan Museum of Art given as a gift by Norbett Schimmel in 1988. The original is dated circa 300-250 BC. The Museum's Snake bracelet is reproduced from a master mould taken directly from this original bracelet. The reproduction is brass with 24k gold overlay and lightly antiqued.

With Alexander the Great's conquest of the Persian Empire in 331 BC, the lands under his control stretched from Greece and Asia Minor through Egypt and the Near East to India. As a result of this contact with cultures far and wide, Greek arts were exposed to a host of new exotic influences. After Alexander seized the Persian king Darius III's rich treasure in Babylon, vast quantities of gold passed into circulation in the Hellenistic world. With widespread disposable wealth of this magnitude, gold jewellery became more popular.


Babylonian Sun Disk necklace £225

This necklace was based on an original from the 16th-17th century B.C currently housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The original was created in Mesopotamia (late Babylonian period) and exemplifies the very finest craftsmanship in gold from the ancient Near East.
Composed of a double row of gold beads from which are suspended seven pendants, each in the form of a deity or the symbol of a deity. One of these pendants, a disk with rays emanating from a central boss, represents the sun god Shamash. The Museum's Babylonian Sun Disk necklace is crafted of 18-karat gold overlay and is based on this pendant.

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