Necklace

ca. 1800 (made)
Necklace thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Choker necklaces were originally worn, in both Austria and Switzerland, to hide the signs of goitre, a disfiguring disease caused by lack of iodine, which was endemic in the high Alps.

In Switzerland these necklaces were usually made of loose chains of silver links, or beads imitating garnet or coral. The designs varied from valley to valley. This necklace is typical of eastern Switzerland. The small oval links are made from silver filigree, which gives it its Swiss name of Blättlikette, or chain of little leaves. Silver filigree is very common in Swiss traditional jewellery, and chains like this were hung over the apron and under the arms, as well as round the neck.

The clasp is inscribed with the letters MAB in a cursive script, which are probably the initials of its original owner.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver filigree chain
Brief Description
Necklace of five graduated tiers of decorative silver chain (Blättlikette), St Gall and Thurgau (Switzerland), about 1800.
Physical Description
Choker necklace, consisting of five graduated chains of flat oval filigree links joined by plain loops. Snap clasp with MAB engraved on the front.
Dimensions
  • Length: 34.1cm
  • Width: 11.3cm
  • Depth: 0.5cm
Marks and Inscriptions
'MAB' (Engraved on front of clasp.)
Summary
Choker necklaces were originally worn, in both Austria and Switzerland, to hide the signs of goitre, a disfiguring disease caused by lack of iodine, which was endemic in the high Alps.



In Switzerland these necklaces were usually made of loose chains of silver links, or beads imitating garnet or coral. The designs varied from valley to valley. This necklace is typical of eastern Switzerland. The small oval links are made from silver filigree, which gives it its Swiss name of Blättlikette, or chain of little leaves. Silver filigree is very common in Swiss traditional jewellery, and chains like this were hung over the apron and under the arms, as well as round the neck.



The clasp is inscribed with the letters MAB in a cursive script, which are probably the initials of its original owner.
Collection
Accession Number
190-1870

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record createdJanuary 11, 2008
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