This sterling silver example is typical of the favoured chatelaine of the early 20th century. These were worn attached to a finger through the finger ring, possibly draped across the palm of the hand or on occasions, attached to a single purpose waist plaque for wearing in a previous style. Three of the pieces appear to be American (made by White Bros.) and the compact is English, Birmingham 1910 (rubbed maker’s mark). The pieces on the chatelaine are unusual and interesting as they include the classic compact with internal mirror and lip salve, as well as a container for small personalised calling cards and a holder for the stamps of the era. The stamps are held in position within the holder by a thin silver bar with the face of the stamp visible through a separate window once the holder is opened. The condition of the piece is excellent for age – the only flaw being the missing silver disc which would have been at the bottom of the lip salve so that the salve could be slowly pushed up the cylinder when required. Otherwise this is a very attractive and desirable example of a fashion that was strongly promoted in the magazines of the day (in particular the “Lady’s Pictorial” and “The Queen”). Maximum length 8.75 ins (22.3cm). Weight 50 grams. This item appears in my book, “Chatelaines, Utility to Glorious Extravagance” on page 267.
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