A châtelaine (from French: “lady of the castle”) in its original form is a belt hook, worn by the lady of the castle, from which the keys of the castle were suspended. It was a form of jewelry that had its origins in practical use. Through time and innovation châtelaines came to support several chains from which accessories were suspended. Women’s clothing made no allowance for the need to carry these small but necessary objects, designed as they were with no pockets. The wide belts that were in fashion provided an excellent platform to support large châtelaine hooks and several designs are known to have been manufactured. They began to hang more and varied household tools from their belts to have them handy at all times.
The word “chatelaine” was not used until 1828 when a London magazine called The World of Fashion reported a new accessory, called “la chatelaine.” The medieval chatelaine had worn the keys to the castle, so these new accessories included a symbolic key, as the ladies were wearing them as a symbol of their status as “The Lady Chatelaine” of their chateau.
This incredible chatelaine is a little vial made of banded agate, useful for keeping a little cologne handy. Embellished with seed pearls and garnets, it is set with Austrian silver. A gorgeous little artifact, fit for any Lady or Lord of the Manor!
Dimensions: 1 1/4" x 4"
Weight: 20.8 grams
Materials: Silver, garnet, seed pearl, agate
Marks: Swan (Silver, non-treaty country, Lion w/ A & 4 (Post 1872, Vienna Assay, Austria)
Condition: Excellent antique condition