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 rubylane.com 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...