Meret Oppenheim
Snake Ear Cuff, designed in 1936, executed in 2014
18kt gold ear cuff with tsavorites
7.8 x 4.4 x 1.2 cm
Edition of 88
Signed and numbered
Gems and Ladders edition

A small snake embraces the wearer’s ear, not as a passive adornment but an active creature that looks back at the viewer with glinting green eyes. Meret Oppenheim delighted in the annual carnival celebrations in Basel; she collected traditional masks and made costumes of her own, with an interest in how the wearer could be transformed. The person wearing the snake ear cuff may take on the sinuousness and stealth of the reptile. The snake’s narrow tail wraps around the ear, as can be seen in the illustration of 1936, a gesture that is protective yet a little menacing.

Courtesy of the Artist and Gems and Ladders

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