This chatelaine is of the style that was worn draped around the neck so that the needlework tools were then available for use positioned near the front of the body. As in this example, they were often created using ribbon and rings. This example has pink silk ribbon with cream celluloid rings. All of the appendages (apart from the scissors which are German) appear to be of Shaker origin. They include a folding needle book with flannel leaves, a sock and a glove darner, a pair of scissors, a little strawberry-form emery and a heart-shaped pin cushion. This item has obviously been well-loved and used. The ribbon is fragile in spots and the patterned cover for the needle book has some splitting. The sock darner has a split at the end and the fabric of the heart-shaped pin cushion has some significant splitting. Despite these problems, this is a very sweet and desirable early work chatelaine and these examples are quite difficult to find due to the ephemeral nature of their construction. This would make a lovely addition to a collection of Americana antique needlework tools or Shaker items. Similar fabric chatelaines are illustrated in my book, “Chatelaines, Utility to Glorious Extravagance” on page 284. Maximum length 38.5 ins (98cm). Weight 90 grams.
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