- Museum number
Cast and chased gold brooch in the form of an eagle fighting a snake. The snake is pavé-set with turquoises and has cabochon ruby eyes.
- Production date
- 1860 (circa)
Width: 6.90 centimetres (wingspan)
- Curator's comments
- Text from catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no. 789:
Close in style to the work of the Maison Robin, Paris in the 1860s. See Vever 1908-12 (ll, pp. 248 and 253) (Charlotte Gere).
Information supplementary to Hull Grundy Catalogue:
The design for the brooch may be inspired by the Mexican emblem of an eagle eating a snake, derived from the tradition that Mexico City/Tenochtitlan was founded in 1325 on a spot where an eagle was eating a snake. The emblem appears on the flag of Mexico. The brooch may therefore date from the period of the French intervention in Mexico (1862-66) in which the French installed the Austrian Maximilian I as Emperor of Mexico from 1864 to 1867, when he was executed by Mexican Republicans (information kindly supplied by Jonathan King).
See also C. Gere & J. Rudoe, 'Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World', London, British Museum, 2010, fig. 213 p.259. Caption: ‘London 1851: brooch with fighting eagle and snake. . . . French or German(?), about 1850. . . . The design of the brooch is similar to one shown [in the Exhibition] by Backes & Co.’ (See: Gere & Rudoe, Fig. 212, ‘Jewellery by Backes & Co. of Hanau. Official Illustrated Catalogue [of the Great Exhibition], p. 153.’)
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2011-2012 25 Nov-26 Feb, Germany, Pforzheim, Schmuckmuseum, Serpentina: the Snake in the Jewellery of the World.
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: HG.189 (masterlist number)