Early 19th c. 9k Gold Ouroboros Snake Hair Pin
Early 19th c. 9k Gold Ouroboros Snake Hair Pin
Early 19th c. 9k Gold Ouroboros Snake Hair Pin
Early 19th c. 9k Gold Ouroboros Snake Hair Pin

Early 19th c. 9k Gold Ouroboros Snake Hair Pin

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The ouroboros is an ancient symbol steeped in myth and legend that depicts a snake, or sometimes a dragon, eating its own tail.

Just as the snake, a symbol of creative life force, sheds its own skin and regenerates new skin, the ouroboros sustains itself by eating its own tail.

The circle represents eternity--and the ouroboros is also often depicted as a lemniscate shape (figure eight), which is the symbol of infinity.

The use of the ouroboros motif dates back as far as ancient Egypt, where its first known occurrence is found in the Enigmatic Book of the Netherworld, a cryptographic funerary text from the tomb of Tutankhamun.

The ouroboros was also famously used in alchemical texts, having various meanings, such as the symbol of Mercury, the duality of existence, the philosopher's stone, eternity, and the soul of the world.

Later, during the Georgian era, the ouroboros motif was often used in mourning jewelry, such as this piece, as a symbol of the endless cycle of life and death as well as enduring eternal love.

This rare 9k gold mourning brooch features a braided lock of hair in the center. There is evidence that this is actually an early conversion piece from a clasp. Many Georgian pieces were made in higher karat gold, but rings and clasps were often done in 9k, as it was more durable.

Accepting requests for ring conversion as well. Contact me for a quote.

+++ Measurements +++

Measures approximately 3/4" in length

+++ Condition +++

Good condition with minor patina from age. This is a conversion piece made from a clasp, and there is evidence of this on the underside, but it cannot be seen when worn. 

+++ Please read +++

This item is not new, and as such, it has wear commensurate with age. As with all older vintage and antique items, please handle with care.

All items are sold as-is, and I do my best to point out all condition issues and provide a detailed description and photographs.

I do not accept returns or offer refunds. Please see all photos, read the entire description, and ask any questions before purchasing.

Thank you!