SMITH & PEPPER Vintage English 9kt Ruby Coiled Snake Earrings
In 1899, Mr. Smith and Mr. Pepper formed a family-run jewelry manufacturing business in Birmingham, England. For 82 years, Smith & Pepper (S&P) produced a variety of stylish jewelry accessories, but they were perhaps best known for their snake designs. The discovery of King Tut's tomb in 1922 inspired a phenomenon of Egyptian-influenced motifs, and subsequently, S&P's coiled snake design with ruby eyes became a popular piece that appeared in several forms, including bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. Although the business closed its doors in 1981, the well-preserved factory building still retains most of its tools, as well as some of its former employees' personal effects, effectively becoming a time capsule of sorts. The building is now open to the public as a museum, which is nestled in Birmingham's "Jewellery Quarter." Original Smith & Pepper jewelry items have now become particularly popular among vintage jewelry lovers and collectors!
These fabulous vintage earrings (ca1963) are a perfect example of Smith & Pepper's famous snake designs! Crafted in 9kt gold, each earring boasts a stylish 3-dimensional snake with a curvy, coiled design. A pattern of grooves around the snake's body representing its "scales," while hand-etched details decorate its head, neck, and the tip of its tail. Luscious ruby cabochons form pinkish-red eyes, adding the perfect pop of color! Each earring hangs from a clasped gold wire at the top. Several markings are stamped on the back of the tail, including the authentic "S&P" signature hallmark, a "9 375" gold purity hallmark, a Birmingham anchor, and the letter "O," dating the piece to the yaer 1963. When worn, the earrings frame the face beautifully, dangling with lovely movement. They merge effortlessly into modern fashion, and would be perfect for the snake lover's collection!
Measurements: The earrings hang 1 7/8" long, including the wires. The coiled snakes measure 1 1/4" long, 1" wide, and about 1/8" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the earrings is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold setting. All of the ruby cabochon eyes are intact and securely set. The earring wires are securely attached and in good condition.