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Vintage Boucheron Snail Brooch

Vintage Boucheron Snail Brooch



DATE: Vintage, c.1960

A fantastic terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusc (aka snail) brooch by Boucheron Paris. It dates from the 1960s, part of their popular animal range, with stunning guilloché enamelled shell and diamond set body. The cultural significance of snails tends to focus on their slowness, often manifesting as lethargy or laziness (sloth as per the seven deadly sins is linked with the snail in Christian tradition). Greek poet Hesiod stated that snails indicated harvest time by climbing up stalks, in Mayan mythology the snail is associated with sexual desire, and the Aztec moon god Tecciztecatl wore a snail shell on his back symbolising rebirth. It's also been suggested that the ancient myth of Cupid's arrows could be based on the love dart (worth looking up if you're unfamiliar with this is it's super bizarre) courting behaviour of certain land snail species.

This snail is beautifully crafted in 18 karat gold and platinum with diamonds totalling around half a carat (F-VVS), and the enamel is a rich earthy brown with black spots; fine striped engraving to the gold base realistically simulates the texture of a real snail shell. It's signed and numbered for authenticity, and as far as I can tell they produced these in three different shell colours: pastel pink, yellow, and this gorgeous reddish-brown.


Brilliant Cut Diamonds - 0.50ct total (calculated), F colour, VVS clarity


3.7 x 2.6cm




Signed Boucheron Paris and numbered 16540

French control marks for 18k gold and platinum


Good, two areas of minor enamel loss and one pin is missing (originally there were two pins). We can explore re-enamelling if preferred but at present it's fully original


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