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LOT 0039

Estimate
GBP (£) 8,000 - 12,000
EUR (€) 9,490 - 14,240
USD ($) 10,340 - 15,510

EGYPTIAN GOLD SERPENT BRACELET
ROMAN PERIOD, 1ST CENTURY BC-1ST CENTURY AD
3 3/4" (154 grams, 94mm).

A gold expandable bracelet formed from a coiled D-section hoop flattened out at both ends to form two snake heads with stone eyes, body incised with cross-hatching decoration.

PROVENANCE:
Property of a Bristol gentleman; acquired on the UK art market. Supplied with a positive X-Ray Fluorescence metal analysis certificate.

PUBLISHED:
Accompanied by an Art Loss Register certificate.

LITERATURE:
Cf. Coarelli, F. Greek and Roman Jewellery, London, 1970, plates 39 and 59; Marshall, F.H. Catalogue of Jewellery: Greek, Etruscan & Roman in the Departments of Antiquities of British Museum, 1969, items 2780 and 2789.

FOOTNOTES:
A double-headed snake was a symbol of Nehebkau, one of primordial gods and protector the Pharaoh and all Egyptians, both in life and in the afterlife. He was usually depicted in the form of a snake with arms and legs, occasionally with wings. He is sometimes shown holding containers of food in his hands, in offering to the deceased. Less often, he is shown as a two headed snake, with a head at each end of the reptilian body. In life, Nehebkau was invoked by the people to protect them from and cure them of venomous bites. The Egyptians believed that he swallowed seven cobras (seven was a magical number to the ancient Egyptians), using them for his magical power. Although he did not have a cult following of his own, he was a god who they invoked in magical spells, both in life and in the land of the dead.

CONDITION