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Animal Attraction: BVLGARI Serpenti By Jewelry Editor Stellene Volandes

By Sarah Jayne Potter   |   3 minute read

BVLGARI Serpenti

“Don’t forget the serpent quote” famed editor Diana Vreeland warned her staff in a 1968 memo. ‘The serpent should be on every fingers and all wrists and all everywhere’. Vreeland herself preferred snakes from Bvlgari, most famously in the form of a belt she wore as a necklace. Who could forget that, or the colorfully enamelled beautiful creatures the Italian house began creating in the 1950s?

The Serpenti had been a part of the Bvlgari menagerie before that, but the snake shaped-watches of the 1940s replicated snakes and skin primarily using the house’s signature gold tubogas. As the years passed, the Serpenti came increasingly alive with vivid colours and animated expressions in precious stones. One emerald-eyed Serpenti even made its way onto Elizabeth Taylor’s arm on the set of Cleopatra. And who could argue with the 20th century’s greatest lover of jewels? She, and her Bvlgari, appear more than once in my new book ‘Jewels That Made History: 100 Stones, Myths and Legends.

BVLGARI Serpenti

To recur on a jewelry timeline is perhaps expected for a house founded in the late 19th century when a Greek silversmith landed in Rome and began to make a name for himself. The jewelry empire he began would evolve over the next century, creating some of the most recognisable jewelry signatures and forging an identity that fused past and present, Greece and Italy, art and Industry.

A Bvlgari coin on a tubogas collar is one of my personal jewelry Holy Grails followed by the Stars and Stripes collection, and one of the lapis and coral pendants created for the New York Collection. But I chose the Serpenti – another one of my Bvlgari Holy Grails – to feature most prominently in my book.

The Snake has been a part of the jeweller’s vocabulary almost since the beginning of time – and a tour through any museums ancient Egyptian ancient Greek galleries will prove this. But a Bvlgari Serpenti takes this tradition and renders it and its most splendid form, beautifully and magnificently alive.

BVLGARI Serpenti

As you will see from the incredible selection on view at Mayors – another business with an incredible legacy – the Bvlgari Serpenti is as irresistible as its biblical counterpart in the Garden. Prepare, as the Mayors in Aventura continues to expand its collection, to be utterly seduced

Credit: Stellene Volandes has been Editor in Chief of Town & Country since 2016 and was recently named Editorial Director of Elle Décor. An internationally renowned expert in jewelry, Volandes hosts a series at the 92nd Street Y in New York City on jewels and their history. Her second book Jewels That Made History is out now.

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