BVLGARI TALES: The History of Serpenti

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The serpent is one of the oldest mythological symbols representing good and evil, wisdom, life and eternity, and it may be seen on everything from ancient religious artifacts to the caduceus, the symbol of modern medicine.

The history of civilization is intertwined with this emblem – even Queen Victoria was seduced in the 19th century, preferring a serpent-shaped engagement ring. Perhaps no other historic character the world is more closely associated with serpents than Cleopatra, whose royal décor and divine powers revered the sinuous snake. The motif reigns equally as mythical in the current day, evident in a jeweled serpentine history, encapsulated by the Bulgari Serpenti.

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Ever since Elizabeth Taylor wore Serpenti bracelet on the set while filming “Cleopatra” in Rome, Bulgari Serpenti became the most iconic, recognizable and desirable piece of jewelry.

The Bulgari Serpenti builds on a vast and extremely rich cultural background through the historical and emblematic significance of the snake:  the serpent is a seductive symbol dating back to ancient Greek and Roman mythology. Representing wisdom, vitality, and the circle of life, the serpent has transcended centuries, traditions and cultures to become the emblem of beauty and strength: adorning Aphrodite, the goddess of love; held by Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine; the snake’s power is undeniably linked with humanity.

This motif was revived by Bulgari in the 1970s, and employed so effectively in the creation of watches, bracelets, necklaces and rings that it became one of the firm’s trademarks. The Bulgari Tubogas is a flexible band with rounded contours produced without soldering, that is remarkably flexible to allow for comfortable wear while remaining firmly coiled around the wrist, arm, or neck.

As Bulgari explains, the realization of a Tubogas band requires hours of specialist work: it involves wrapping two long gold strips with raised edges around a copper or wood core in such a way that the edges then firmly interlock with each other to form a continuous unsoldered piece; the core is then removed or dissolved in acid. The flexibility of these metallic bands is truly remarkable, and has been employed with splendid results. In the 1970s, the use of grey steel in combination with yellow gold was also introduced.

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Beyond pure technique, color is another of the most recognizable features of a Bulgari creation.  Bulgari is known for its innovation with color, employing gemstones and unusual materials that have literally never been seen before – this results in bold new collections and made-to-order, unique pieces of extremely fine jewelry or watches.