Snake Bracelet

Object Details


Snake Bracelet






Egypt (Place created)


1st century




7.3 cm, 0.113 kg (2 7/8 in., 0.2491 lb.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

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Spiral bracelets in the form of snakes were very popular in antiquity. This type of bracelet was worn coiled around the wearer's arm, the continuation of a fashion known earlier in the Greek world in the Classical and Hellenistic periods. Such slip-on bracelets were always worn in pairs on the wrists or the upper arms. On this single spiral example, the goldsmith carefully recreated the sinuous motion of the curves of a snake's tail. Incised crosshatching on the snake's head and tail represents the texture of scales. A second smaller head emerges from the tail, creating an abbreviated version of the more elaborate double-snake bracelets popular in the earlier Ptolemaic period.

- 1959

J. J. Klejman Gallery (New York, New York), sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1959.

1959 - 1996

Barbara Fleischman

and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (October 13, 1994 to April 23, 1995) (170)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), October 13, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art, (Cleveland), February 14 to April 23, 1995

Ogden, Jack. Independent Art Research, Ltd., Report 89078. March 14, 1990.

Ogden, Jack. Ancient Jewellery. (London: British Museum Press, 1992). p. 8, fig. 1.

True, Marion, and Kenneth Hamma, eds. A Passion For Antiquities. Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman. The J. Paul Getty Museum. Malibu: 1994. pp. 327-28, cat. no. 170.

"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust, 1997-1998. p. 69.