This is what history is all about! Preserving and honoring those before us! This is why I am addicted to what I do! The history that this piece holds is amazing within itself. Combining utility and beauty, chatelaines were a form of functional jewelry worn hanging at the waist. Comprising a hook and multiple dangling chains attached to small, useful objects (scissors, writing utensils, keys, purse, watch, perfume vial, etc.) chatelaines were hooked to a sash, belt or waistband. Visible storage worked in intricate designs of silver, enamel or gold, chatelaines were also an expression of authority. Chatelaines usually adorned the “keeper of the keys” for a large household and signified a position of familial and social authority. This was a clear visual expression of the literal meaning of chatelaine, a mistress of the chateau. Though their origins are a bit obscure, the chatelaine probably developed sometime in the Middle Ages, enjoying periodic revivals through the late nineteenth century. In the nineteenth century, chatelaines were usually worn by women. As the century progressed, variations on the chatelaine emerged, including the chatelaine pocket or chatelaine bag. Unlike a chatelaine which featured multiple items dangling from an elaborate hook, a chatelaine pocket or chatelaine purse showcased one item, a small pouch or purse. Purse and pocket chatelaines were particularly popular from the mid-1870s until the early 1880s. During these years, the fashionable silhouette clung tightly to the hips and upper legs and would have been disrupted by a pocket, especially if it was actually in use. The leather Chatelaine purse was used for outside the home, as an evening purse. Absolutely wonderful piece of history!

See ya here!!!

Black Cat Relics
Antiques and Vintage Charm!
Specializing in Antique & Vintage Jewels

1337-C George Washington Way
In The Uptown Shopping Center
In the Middle Breezeway
Richland, WA

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Wednesday - Friday 11am to 6pm
Saturday - 10am to 6pm



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