Serpent on a Ship

Below is a new image and caption that I recently posted in the Serpent & Ophicleide collection of iconography. Its location of origin would appear to be either Austria or Brazil, both of which do not have a lot of iconography depicting serpents. Although it is a military usage of the serpent, it would appear to be only loosely so; notice, for example, the contrasting hats of each of the musicians and the casual posture of some of the players.

1817—Thomas Ender’s Music at Frigate Austria, probably depicting the Austrian expedition to Brazil, features a wind band that includes a serpent (see below image; public domain) (source: Google Arts & Culture, “Musica Brasilis”).Ender


  1. Very unusual….and an interesting orchestration…..3 shawms/oboes, serpent, horn and drum….

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