Upper arm bracelet in the form of a coiled snake (Pair)


The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Armlet made of solid gold, designed as a single snake coiled to strike with its head rising from the top of the armlet and its tail twisting at the bottom. The armlet is embellished with decorative engraving and punching, preserving evidence of the use of numerous tools: a round-end punch for the eyes of the snake, a graver for deep lines and hatching, and a punch with a v-shaped tip to create the scale pattern of the reptile's skin. The bracelet is designed to be worn with its pair, 92.AM.8.6.2, mirroring one another. A traditional pin-and-hinge construction closes the bracelet at the elaborately filigreed clasp. Each terminal is fashioned from a single piece of sheet metal to which the filigree has been applied before its ends were affixed with a series of loops. Closure was effected by aligning the loops and passing a pin through, the final result imitating a length of bead-and-spool wire in order to disguise its function.


  • Title: Upper arm bracelet in the form of a coiled snake (Pair)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 225–175 B.C.
  • Location Created: Egypt
  • Physical Dimensions: 6.5 × 7.8 cm (2 9/16 × 3 1/16 in.)
  • Type: Bracelet
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Bracelet: Gold; Fastening pin: Copper alloy
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 92.AM.8.6.1
  • Culture: Greek
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Jewelry

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