Bulgari - Geneva Watch Auction: TWO Geneva Saturday, November 7, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Bulgari
    Year: Circa 1960
    Movement No: 1'464'444
    Model Name: "Snake"
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 426 signed Jaeger-LeCoultre
    Bracelet/Strap: Translucent yellow and orange enamel over textured background scales with gold outlines
    Dimensions: Bracelet will fit a wrist with a circumference of approx. 150 mm.
    Signed: Bracelet signed Bulgari, movement signed Jaeger-LeCoultre
    Accessories: Fitted with original box and copies of original drawings and invoices confirming the sale of the present watch in 1971

  • Catalogue Essay

    During the 1950s, Bulgari created a snake-style bracelet that not only offered women the luxury of wearing the spectacular statement pieces they are known for, but also housed a hidden, prestigious Jaeger LeCoultre watch discretely underneath the snake’s hinged head.

    The bronze and gold colored enamel scale-like links against the yellow gold perfectly come together creating a coiled cuff that gently wraps around one’s wrist. Bulgari’s Tubogas technique used in the present example, allows mobility and flexibility to intricate pieces that later became a signature method used in the company's watches and jewelry. Using two pear-shaped emerald stones for eyes, this snake is sure to captivate the owner and observers alike.

    It has been said that while Elizabeth Taylor was in Rome filming Cleopatra, she would sneak out of the set with Richard Burton. Richard bought beautiful jewelry for Elizabeth, including a Serpenti watch that is a variation of the present example, which she wore on the set of Cleopatra.

    The snake is often found in jewelry design, and is symbolic of change and seduction, as well as rebirth and wisdom. This ended up becoming synonymous with Bulgari’s brand of watches known today as Serpenti. As this exceptional piece of art is elegantly situated around one’s wrist, it is sure to be a great conversation piece.

  • Artist Biography



    Originally from Kalarites, Greece, Sotirios Voulgaris emigrated to Rome because of Greece's rising poverty and difficulty separating from the Ottoman Empire. He set foot on Italian soil in 1880 with little money in his pocket and spent the next four years preparing what would go on to become Italy's oldest jewelry company. 

    In 1884, Bulgari opened its doors to the Italian people with its offering of jewelry and accessories. Bulgari's style takes from traditions in Greek and Roman craftsmanship to elegantly balance volume and subtlety. Later, in the late 1960s, Bulgari bridged classicism and modernity by introducing its seductive, now-iconic Serpenti collection of snake-shaped coil bracelets and watches. It is through its meticulous combination of influences that Bulgari has garnered an international and loyal high-profile clientele, which included Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. These Hollywood stars have immortalized the house's unique gem-adorned bracelets, necklaces and earrings in rounded forms. 

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A lady's exceptionally fine and highly attractive yellow gold, translucent orange and yellow enamel coiling "snake" bracelet watch with emerald-set eyes, box and documentation

Circa 1960
Bracelet will fit a wrist with a circumference of approx. 150 mm.
Bracelet signed Bulgari, movement signed Jaeger-LeCoultre

CHF100,000 - 200,000 

Sold for CHF125,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

Geneva Watch Auction: TWO

Geneva Auction 7 & 8 November 2015 6:30pm