SNAKE EYES

Bul­gari hon­ours its beloved ser­pent by rein­ter­pret­ing its form in the new Ser­penti “Eyes on Me” col­lec­tion, dis­cov­ers CANDICE CHAN

Prestige (Singapore) - - JEWELLERY -

they say the eyes are the win­dows to the soul. And it is through the eyes of the ser­pent, Bul­gari’s most em­blem­atic sym­bol, that the Ital­ian jew­eller chose to un­veil the lat­est Ser­penti “Eyes on Me” col­lec­tion. Com­posed of pre­cious rings, bracelets and neck­laces from entry-level all the way to high jew­ellery mas­ter­pieces, it show­cases the ser­pent in new forms, plac­ing em­pha­sis on its head.

A re­cur­ring leit­mo­tif in Bul­gari’s cre­ative lan­guage since the 1940s, the ser­pent has evolved through the years, tak­ing on sev­eral guises both ab­stract and fig­u­ra­tive. The orig­i­nal snake-shaped de­signs took the form of sinewy bracelet watches with coils made in mesh or the tubo­gas tech­nique. It was only in the 1960s that the brand aligned it­self with an­cient Greek and Ro­man mythol­ogy to present more re­al­is­tic in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the ser­pent.

It is these fig­u­ra­tive por­tray­als of the snake that have been adapted this year for the new Ser­penti “Eyes on Me” jew­ellery. With the fo­cus on the ser­pent’s head and its pen­e­trat­ing gaze, the de­signs come var­ied: Rounded or sharp, flat or three-di­men­sional, skele­tonised or in solid form, and in plain gold or adorned with di­a­monds. The new hexag­o­nal scale pat­tern found on the jew­ellery is also in­spired by older de­signs. Im­i­tat­ing the scales on a ser­pent, it is in­ter­preted in dif­fer­ent ways through­out the col­lec­tion.

Head­lin­ing this col­lec­tion are two high jew­ellery neck­laces that proudly dis­play the in­no­va­tive prow­ess of the 132-year-old jew­eller. The first is a flex­i­ble piece crafted from pink gold and adorned with di­a­mond pave and snake­wood, a rare and flex­i­ble hard­wood known for its scaled look and lux­u­ri­ous sheen. Pre­sented in the head over tail de­sign that Bul­gari in­tro­duced in 2015, the earthy tones of this be­jew­elled ser­pent is com­ple­mented by its pierc­ing di­a­mond-set stare.

The other neck­lace in plat­inum, di­a­monds and emer­alds shows the ser­pent on a pen­dant for the first time in the Ser­penti range. Dan­gling promi­nently like a proud medal­lion, the snake’s head is dec­o­rated with al­ter­nat­ing di­a­mond and emer­ald scales while its green emer­ald eyes scin­til­late se­duc­tively.

As a sym­bol of life, wis­dom, vi­tal­ity and eter­nity, the ser­pent has been found in jew­ellery since an­tiq­uity. Cleopa­tra wore them (dec­o­ra­tively and of­ten as a tal­is­man to ward off bad luck), as did Queen Vic­to­ria, El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor and Diana Vree­land. Al­though the snake has played muse to nu­mer­ous jew­ellers across time, it is Bul­gari’s Ser­penti that is the most en­dur­ing.

A STILL LIFE PHO­TO­GRAPH BY GUIDO MOCAFICO, EX­HIB­ITED AT THE SERPENTIFORM ART EX­HI­BI­TION

high jew­ellery neck­lace in plat­inum, di­a­monds and emer­alds

Bracelet in white gold, di­a­monds and emer­alds

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