Chatelaine thumbnail 1
Chatelaine thumbnail 2
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images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Chatelaine

ca. 1850 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This chatelaine was greatly admired by the exhibition jury and won a Prize Medal. Their report commented: “ a beautiful chatelaine, entirely of wrought steel: it is composed of twelve pieces, adjusted with extreme care, and covered with faceted ornaments; several of the pieces, such as the étui, the key, the tablets and the almanack, have required very long and skilful work and twelve months were required to complete this chatelaine. It was made entirely in London, and not a single piece of it was stamped.”

Chatelaines were decorative but useful waist hung fashion accessories. The system of clips and chains, attached to the belt, kept small but necessary items such as sissors, keys and money easily accessible for housewives and housekeepers. Before the 1850s pockets were uncommon in women’s garments and chatelaines were a versatile and ornamental alternative. The huge numbers of increasingly large and elaborate chatelaines made in Britain and America was ridiculed in satirical publications like Punch magazine.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 12 parts.

  • Chatelaine
  • Pen Knife
  • Book Case
  • Scissors
  • Thimble Case
  • Key
  • Anchor Pendant
  • Tablet Case
  • Letter Opener
  • Point
  • Tweezer
  • Case
Materials and Techniques
Cut steel
Brief Description
Cut steel chatelaine, England, about 1851
Physical Description
Cut steel chatelaine. The hook-plate inscribed on the reverse, 'Durham/ Cutler to H.R.H. Prince Albert/456 Oxford Street'.
Dimensions
  • Height: 43cm
  • Width: 43cm
  • Depth: 2.4cm
Marks and Inscriptions
'Durham/ Cutler to H.R.H. Prince Albert/456 Oxford Street' (hook-plate inscribed on the reverse)
Credit line
Given by Mrs Gilbert Russell
Object history
The hook-plate inscribed on the reverse, 'Durham/ Cutler to H.R.H. Prince Albert/456 Oxford Street'. Shown by Joseph Banks Durham at the Great Exhibition of 1851, the piece was described in the official catalogue as 'Highly polished and richly cut steel chatelaine, with improved scissors and tablet'.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This chatelaine was greatly admired by the exhibition jury and won a Prize Medal. Their report commented: “ a beautiful chatelaine, entirely of wrought steel: it is composed of twelve pieces, adjusted with extreme care, and covered with faceted ornaments; several of the pieces, such as the étui, the key, the tablets and the almanack, have required very long and skilful work and twelve months were required to complete this chatelaine. It was made entirely in London, and not a single piece of it was stamped.”



Chatelaines were decorative but useful waist hung fashion accessories. The system of clips and chains, attached to the belt, kept small but necessary items such as sissors, keys and money easily accessible for housewives and housekeepers. Before the 1850s pockets were uncommon in women’s garments and chatelaines were a versatile and ornamental alternative. The huge numbers of increasingly large and elaborate chatelaines made in Britain and America was ridiculed in satirical publications like Punch magazine.
Collection
Accession Number
M.10:1 to 9-1971

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record createdAugust 18, 2005
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