Early Victorian Era Mourning Snake Stick Pin

Early Victorian era mourning stick pin with enamel snake and carved hardstone urn, in gold. The mourning piece has engraved "H A Levett ob March 12 1847". The original woven hair is the backside locket compartment. Can be worn as an accessory or displayed on the wall as a decorative piece.  English in origin. 

Snake jewelry did not begin with Adam and Eve but appeared up in Pre-Christian religions and cultures. There are very few creatures that have been embraced by both religion and art.  Most of the others have fascinated mankind because of their impressive size or strength. Snakes, on the other hand, tend to be insignificant in appearance. Yet in the hierarchy of animals they have ranked so high that they have attained almost divine status.  All sorts of human character traits have been imputed to them, ranging from wisdom and prudence to guile and deceitfulness. Snakes arouse powerful emotional responses from one person to another.

Measures 3" in length.