Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chatelaines - Utilitarian Charm

Basically tool kits masquerading as jewelry, chatelaines allowed Victorian women to keep quotidian essentials at the ready, in the graceful style the era demanded.

Consisting of functional pendants-from magnifying glasses to thimbles-attached to a clip, these accessories were worn at the waist.

Because of their of utilitarian nature, very few chatelaines  have survived with all of their original pieces which is why intact sets command sums of up to $4,000, depending on materials and beauty.

 The good news is individual implements start at around $100 each, making them affordable fashion accessories.

 These examples are from sellers Maximillion Collectibles, Charlotte Marie's, Gardenartus Antiques, and Time in a Bottle.

Just string one on a simple chain, and it becomes an utterly unique, and useful, necklace!

 I've had this small gold pencil stamped, WHAL EVER SHARP PATENTED GOLD FILLED with a ring on top and have been curious about it for years.

   Thanks to the latest issue of Country Living Magazine and Katy McColl's article on Collecting, I'll soon be sporting my own "utilitarian chic" chatelaine necklace!

I'd like to wish you all a...

Happy Valentine's Day!


Tricia Rose Rough Linen said...

All the while I was reading this post I was humming k.d.lang's 'My Chatelaine'! I do wonder about one thing though Terri - wouldn't all these precious things bang together to their detriment as you went about your day?

Kathysue said...

Terri, Love this post so interesting. I love the Victorian era, they seem to have a tool or a utensil to use for everything and all were made to lok so beautiful. Love this, have fun wearing your pencil as your newest piece of jewelry. Kathysue

jeanette from everton terrace said...

So often we are on the same page :)
Picked up a few of these things lately that are here in my studio waiting to be transformed into necklaces. Sold a pencil one last year, yours will be adorable I'm certain. Must look for that article!

quintessence said...

LOVE this fabulous post. So interesting and lovely. Haven't seen Country Living but will be curious to see your chatelaine necklace when completed!!

Unknown said...

Happy Valentine's Day. I had no idea about the history of those items! I wonder if they used those instead of carrying purses?!

Happy Valentine's darling!!!
xo Elizabeth

Party Resources said...

Happy Valentine's Day to you too! xx