Antique natural pearl and diamond caduceus brooch, circa 1890. A gold and silver brooch in the form of a gold rod around which two serpents are intertwined, the rod surmounted by a natural pearl, the serpents set with forty four round rose cut diamonds in silver grain settings with an approximate total weight of 1.50 carats, each also with a ruby eye, the two rubies with a total weight of 0.02 carats, the reverse mounted with a hinged pin and c-clasp.
A “caduceus” is the ancient Greek name for a herald’s staff, and was the attribute of the messenger god Hermes. It was originally a staff with two serpents, but was later adapted to include a pair of wings at the uppermost point. In Roman times it signified a truce or neutrality. Today it is a symbol of the medical profession.