Cypriot Bronze Bangle with Snakes Finials

£ 195.00

An Ancient Cypriot bangle composed of a single bronze wire with overlapping finials modelled in the shape of snakes’ heads. The snakes are represented in a highly stylised manner with ‘stepped’ triangular heads decorated with small incised circles, potentially imitating scales. There are two incised ribs before each finial to further adorn the piece. The rest of the bracelet is smooth and unadorned.

Date: Circa 5th - 3rd century BC
Condition: Fine, complete and intact. The bronze displays a nice dark green patination to the surface.
Product Code: RES-248
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Bronze, silver and gold jewellery in the form of snakes were among the most popular objects in Roman and Greek jewellery. Snake jewels had a host of amuletic connotations. They were particularly associated with the healing snakes of Asclepius, the god of medicine. Snakes also held different meanings from being guardians to being symbols of resurrection.

Cyprus once had the reputation of being infested with poisonous snakes, and although this was a wild exaggeration, the local fauna does include one highly venomous species, the Levant viper (Vipera lebetina). This, the largest of the Mediterranean vipers, which can grow up to 1.5 meters in length, must have always played an important and dangerous role in the lives of ancient Cypriots. It is not surprising therefore to find snake motifs appearing in Cypriot art.

Weight 15.3 g
Dimensions L 5.4 x W 5.1 x H 1.2 cm

Southern Europe



Reference: For a similar item, The British Museum, item 2010,5003.126

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