Victorian Huge 14kt/Silver Diamond & Pearl Caduceus Pin
The symbol known as the caduceus is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology, and by Mercury in Roman iconography. The staff is depicted with two snakes that wind around a central bar, often shown with wings at the sides. In the modern day, the caduceus is used as a symbol of commerce. However, it is often mistaken with the Rod of Asclepius, a similar symbol featuring a single snake winding around a staff, which is a widely known symbol of medicine.
This magnificent pin from the Victorian era (ca1880) is an impressive representation of the caduceus! The piece is incredibly substantial in size, and has an elaborate design crafted in 14kt gold and sterling silver. A removable long gold staff comprises the center, topped with a large, lustrous pearl at the top. Two serpents wind around the center of the bar, their tails and bodies overlapping at the center. A pair of spectacular feathered wings rest at either side, framing the piece beautifully! The snakes and wings have a diamond-encrusted surface, giving a radiant sparkle to the surface of the piece. The pavé diamond design incorporates dozens of delicate Mine Cut diamonds, which rest in a sterling-topped setting. Completing the piece is a gold bar pin that rests on the back of the wings, allowing the brooch to fasten securely to a favorite garment. A truly exceptional museum quality piece from the Victorian era, it is perfect for the serious collector and would make an outstanding addition to any antique collection!
Measurements: The pin measures 3 3/8" tall from the top of the pearl to the base of the staff, and measures 2 3/8" wide in wingspan. The pearl measures approximately 18mm in size.
Condition: The overall condition of the piece is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the silver-topped gold setting. The pearl and all of the diamonds are intact and secure in their setting. The pin clasp fastens securely and is in good working condition. There is a natural patina present on the surface of the setting, which is normal for a Victorian era piece and adds depth and beauty to the antique design.