This is a rare and special chatelaine that would have been worn by a deeply religious person in Upper Bavaria during the 18th century. It has a simple metal loop waist hook attached to a most decorative heavily cast chain, which is marked with B.A on the top link. This attaches to a triangular section which is pierced, showing a stag and a tree. Below this there are another three links passing to the appendages. The central one is a cross. The one on the left is a stylized non-functioning watch key decorated with piercing depicting a heraldic scene with crown at the top, a lion and another creature on each side of a possible flag. The final appendage is a stylized sceptre. Looking at pages 70-71 of the book, “Primitive and Folk Jewelry”, edited by Martin Gerlach, there are illustrated virtually identical chains and watch keys which are stated to be 18th century and from Upper Bavaria. The examples seen in the illustration (see image) are described as being watch chains. This piece however, appears to be more a ceremonial religious item rather than for a watch. The condition is very good for age. This fascinating piece would have a place in any collection of earlier jewellery and could well merit more detailed research. Length 14.5 ins (36.8cm). Weight 146 grams. This item appears in my book, "Chatelaines, Utility to Glorious Extravagance" on page 262. Air Mail Post with tracking to the USA would be $23.00 USD – with no tracking is cheaper. This item is covered by own insurance policy. For shipping cost to other countries, please contact us.
Rare Continental Silver Religious Chatelaine, Upper Bavaria, 18th Century
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