Czarist Russian Silver Snake Bracelet
This Russian silver winding snake bracelet is exquisitely rendered with beautiful detail and textural effects. Incorporating a unique twisted wire design, the body is coiled and the metal textured to resemble the skin; tiny touches of gold have been applied to capture the patterned markings of a snake as are depressions in the wire. The head has been ornamented with engravings corresponding to reptile-like scales. Faceted ruby eyes hypnotize the viewer, as an almost inaudible hiss emerges from the open mouth replete with tiny pointed teeth.
Carefully coiled into a helix in its original box of green leather with maroon velvet and cream silk interior is printed in gold Cyrillic letters is the name “I.V. Schekliev” with its main shop in the city of Moscow. This particular bracelet was originally purchased from a branch of the store located in Karkov (Kharkiv) in Northeast Ukraine.
Measurements: Will fit a wrist of 7 inches (17.8 cm) or less and wrap around three times (see photos); head of the snake is 7/16 of an inch (1.2 cm) in width and more than ¼ of an inch (0.7 cm) in width for the body. Has a weight of 34.4 grams.
Condition: Very good; replaced ruby eyes otherwise excellent. Box - Wear to the top, bottom and several edges of box with some staining of cream silk lining.
Hallmarks: tip of tail has a Russian assayer hallmark of “84” which stands for .875 parts silver out of 1000. This is a tad less than sterling which is .925 or more parts. Also marked underneath the head in two rectangular cartouches is “sterling” and “935”.
Date: Circa 1890
Note: The Russian silver standards in general use in the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century were reckoned in zolotniks. These would show the purity of the precious metal. Metal purity was measured in zolotniks. Ninety six (96) zolotniks correspond to pure silver. The most frequently found proportions for Russian silver are 84 and 88 zolotniks.