Design for a Belt Buckle with a Female Figures Playing Two Trumpets and an Enchanted Snake

Anonymous, French, 19th century French

Not on view

Drawing with a design for a belt buckle, designed around 1900, part of an album of drawings by various artists for individual pieces of jewelry, containing a variety of designs in the Art Nouveau style of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, as well as some pieces in historic period styles. The design consists of a thin snake whose tail interlaces around the part of the body close to its head, which is decorated with a green stone as its eye, to form a knot and the body of the belt buckle. Inside this oval frame is a female figure wearing a high-waisted, sleeveless draped dress of the Neoclassical style, her hips surrounded by a thin garland of white flowers and leaves, her long, wavy hair flowing in the air and decorated by a floral headband that matches her belt, and playing two trumpets, possibly to enchant the snake. The drawing is outlined with graphite and black ink, and rendered with brown watercolor and white gouache. The design reveals the aesthetic of late Art Nouveau jewelry style, designed, among others, by Rene Lalique, which drew inspiration from antiquity and japonism, abandoning the exclusive use traditional precious stones in the manufacture of jewels, and using, instead, a combination of gold, gemstones, semi-precious stones, mother-of-pearl, ivory and horn, enamel, and glass, to create colorful, powerful, and sinuous designs, often presenting animal and other figurative motifs.

No image available

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.