Snake Charmers

Bulgari celebrates its iconic Serpenti collection.


It’s the year of the snake—in more ways than one. While the Chinese calendar puts the spotlight on the sixth animal sign, Bulgari is celebrating more than 60 years of its iconic Serpenti designs (like the the pieces in the 1968 photo at left and the 1967 creation below). The sinuous motif was first introduced in watch form in the ’40s and has since attracted icons like Elizabeth Taylor, whose Serpenti timepiece was reportedly a gift from Richard Burton, and Diana Vreeland, who wore a Serpenti belt around her neck.

A Bulgari creation from 1967.

Bulgari showcased 100 of its vintage basilisk jewels and watches at its Fifth Avenue store last month—but the storied house is also looking forward, with a new collection of snake-inspired pieces that will be introduced throughout the year. Aspiring Cleopatras, take note.

Bracelet: Studio Orizzonte/© Bulgari; Model: Gian Paolo Barbieri/Condé Nast Archive