An enamel and emerald 'Serpenti' bracelet-watch, by Bulgari,
Lot 53
An enamel and emerald 'Serpenti' bracelet-watch,
by Bulgari, circa 1958-65
Sold for £60,000 (US$ 81,408) inc. premium

Fine Jewellery

4 Dec 2016, 10:30 GMT

London, New Bond Street

Lot Details
An enamel and emerald 'Serpenti' bracelet-watch, by Bulgari, An enamel and emerald 'Serpenti' bracelet-watch, by Bulgari,
An enamel and emerald 'Serpenti' bracelet-watch, by Bulgari, circa 1958-65
The highly articulated bracelet designed to loop around the wrist in multiple coils, the scales rendered in pale blush-pink enamel, the serpent's head with forked tongue and pear-shaped emerald eyes, opening to reveal a circular watch dial, signed Bulgari, dial signed Jaeger LeCoultre, case numbered 636414, width when coiled 5.5cm, maker's pouch

Footnotes

  • The emblem of the serpent has been used in jewellery design since antiquity and from the 1940s the motif was taken up by Bulgari who turned this auspicious symbol of eternity into a watch.

    The manufacture of each "Serpenti" was elaborate. At their core was a white gold spring which enabled the snake to coil around the wrist of a mid-20th century fashionista as firmly and as sinuously as would the real reptile have wound around the arm of an ancient Minoan snake goddess. The body of the serpent was painstakingly constructed out of handmade sheet gold and enamelled elements which were fitted and screwed together around the spring. The watch was concealed in the head, the dial lying beneath a hinged cover and the customised movements were supplied by Jaegar LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Movado or Vacheron Constantin.

    Bulgari's "Serpenti" line is still one of the firm's most popular designs, much admired and much imitated. The example offered here is a fine example made during the glamorous years of La Dolce Vita.

    For examples of 'Serpenti' bracelet-watches by Bulgari see Triossi, A. (ed.), "Bulgari: Between Eternity and History", Milan, 2009, pp. 188-199.
Activities
Auction information

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Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:
A successful bidder at this sale will be required to pay Bonhams 1793 Limited ("Bonhams") a premium calculated as follows:
25% on the first £100,000 of the hammer price
20% on the excess of £100,001 and up to £2,000,000 of the hammer price
12% on the excess of £2,000,001 of the hammer price

VAT at 20% will be payable on the amount of the premium.

The premium is payable for the services to be provided by Bonhams in the Buyer's Agreement which is contained in the catalogue for this Sale and for the opportunity to bid for the Lot at the Sale.

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  1. Emily Barber
    Specialist - Jewellery
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
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