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This Civil War era brooch has an all-handmade frame of 9 karat yellow gold in a gorgeously detailed coiled serpent (snake) design. The Snake frame is a frame to hold the natural banded agate gemstone that has been hand polished. The banded agate is a lovely color of a natural agate grown naturally in layers of White and black. The brooch measures just under 36mm X 24mm for the stone only. The agate is a very interesting stone and has been used since ancient times.
Information on the Banded Agate;
Said by the ancients to render the wearer invisible, Agate has been admired by humanity for thousands of years. Its beauty and durability have prompted man to use it in both practical and ornamental forms.
Agate is believed to cure insomnia, ensure pleasant dreams, protect from danger, and promote strength, healing and a bold heart. Wearers become temperate, continent and cautious. Agate is a cooling stone; it reduces fever, quenches thirst, quiets the pulse and heart throbs and ensures good health and a long and prosperous life. The banded agate was used as a mourning brooch and the colors of this agate means half-mourning.
Information of the serpent meaning of the 18th and 19th Centuries:
The serpent in this brooch is made of gold with nice detail. Serpents have held a long fascination in religions of many cultures. In the Western Culture, the story of the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden by the duplicity of the Satan as personified in the serpent as well-known and seen thought out religious ars moriendi of the Middle Ages. One characteristic of snakes with influenced these positive views was the periodic shedding of the skin which came to symbolize regeneration, rebirth, and immortality; qualities increasingly popular in Enlightenment and Romantic views. The quality of perceived rejuvenation became a positive enough symbol for the medical profession to adopt the serpent for its symbol. In the 19th Century serpents’ meant “Eternity”
This fine brooch could have been worn on the bodice or on a ribbon on the neck. The size of the brooch is 1 ¾ inches wide and 1 1/8 inches tall. This was purchased from a collector of fine Victorian Antique jewelry in Knoxville Tennessee.
This beautiful brooch is in excellent condition and strong to wear for re-enacting or modern dress.