2013 has been dubbed by Bulgari as the "Year of the Serpent." The symbol of the snake has been synonymous with the Italian jeweler since the late '40s, serving as ostentatious inspiration for a many precious Bulgari piece. First made as an ornate bracelet watch, the Serpenti timepiece has an Art Nouveau design that mimics the coiling pattern of a snake around the watch-wearer's wrist, as seen on Elizabeth Taylor in 1963's Cleopatra. This Hollywood exposure has since given Serpenti an elegant and enduring mystical appeal—even more apt since the serpent is a symbol for eternal youth and immortality.
Each "snake skin" temple of the elegant sunglasses are meticulously enameled by expert artisans using the 'fired enamel' technique that was popular during the 1950s. In this process, enamel is applied one color at a time, and fired between 100 degrees and 150 degrees Celsius, polished and then fired a second time. The result is a flawless masterpiece with vibrant colors, subtly mirroring the snakes' glossy, pearlized scales.
These butterfly sunglasses pay homage to the iconic Serpenti watch-bracelet in coloured enamel from the 1960's. Large multicoloured scales, running the length of the temples, evoke the skin of imaginary snakes with bold chromatic accents taken from original archival sketches.