The use of the snake in jewelry made its first appearance in the Greek world during the Geometric Period, the earliest example being an anguiform bracelet found in Eleusis. The motif can be seen worn by female figures depicted on Athenian vases during the 6th and 5th centuries B.C., but it was during the 4th century B.C. and following that there was a "veritable explosion of the snake motif on jewelry" (see Bianchi, et al., Cleopatra's Egypt, Age of the Ptolemies, p. 202).
For an armband similar to the present example, said to be from Eretria and now in the Schmuckmuseum, Pforzheim, see pl. XXIV in Deppert-Lippitz, Grieschischer Goldschmuck. As Bianchi informs (op. cit., p. 202) although "the serpent as a motif was imbued by the Greeks with several different levels of interpretation," its popularity may be simply because "the natural coiling form of a serpent rendered it an ideal motif for those types of jewelry which provided the allusion of being wrapped..."