What do you know about this age-old accessory tradition?
When I think about Victorian jewelry, I think about beauty and romance, mystery and intrigue, elegance and opulence, grand gestures and ceremony. However, much of what was carried and worn during this period had very practical purpose and meaning.
Historically the chatelaine was a set of short chains that a woman would wear fastened to her waist belt for carrying everyday items such as keys, scissors, watch, money purse, thimble, shoe hook, etc.
Most of the clothing worn by women of this period did not have functional pockets, so therefore the chatelaine was the next best thing.
The chatelaine was both decorative and functional and was used to carry a variety of implements for any number of practical purposes by housekeepers, nurses, hobbyists and socialites.
What I didn’t know is that this word also carries with it status, prestige and meaning.
It's French and means “the mistress of a castle”.
In other words, if you wore a chatelaine you were the lady in charge. You held the keys to the kingdom. You called the shots and wielded all the power.
I love this! Why not wear one now?
You might engage in interesting conversation around what you have hanging on your chatelaine and why.
It would be whimsical, fun, sentimental and nostalgic.
It could be whatever you would like it to be on any given day or for any given event.
It could be worn as a talisman for protection and empowerment.
It sounds pretty magical to me!
The one shown here was created as a custom order and was designed to be versatile so that items can be clipped on or off as desired. Also, (included but not shown) is a removable gemstone embellished chain to interchange it from brooch to necklace.
I took a reproduction filigree brass stamping and together we decided to focus on a sweet little colorful pair of French embroidery scissors. I added a vintage brass filigree locket, an old fashion key, a fun mood bead, a vintage millefiori glass pendant as well as other art glass, gemstone and whimsical charms.
Let's be clear - In 2023 you are the mistress of your very own castle!
Do you think you have to have one of these? I know I do!
Let me know what you think.
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