This glorious chatelaine is made by Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co., c1900. The waist plaque features a most beautiful Art Nouveau lady enhanced with putti and garlands of flowers and a dove. The chains mainly consist of links featuring roses and an unusual feature is a safety chain that runs from the waist hook to a ring on the central, slightly plainer chain. The current appendages are a gorgeous apple-form pomander which unscrews in the centre to reveal the original foam wad on which the aromatic solution would have been placed. On the next chain is the “Holy Grail” of pencils in the form of an owl in silver-gilt with bright black and gold eyes. The central chain holds a watch key that is in the form of the so-called “Widower’s Key” that has been said to be worn as a sign that the wearer was now available and the lower section slides up to reveal the key for a watch. The next chain holds a delightful tiny mesh purse which would have been for a gold sovereign. The final chain holds a small container most likely for pills. The chatelaine is marked for Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co. Ld. and assay marks for London and c1900 (although part of this date mark is obscured by solder it is most likely an ‘e’). The pomander is marked for Frank Hyams Ld. of 128 New Bond Street (London) and has a Registration number of 577146. The owl on the inside has the prestigious name of W. Thornhill. The other pieces are not marked. The condition of the chatelaine itself is excellent for age. The pomander screws and unscrews firmly but is a little fiddly when being screwed to get the two surfaces within the same grooves. The pencil no longer seems to wind out but a skillful repairer could correct this. The key and pill box are in good condition for age though the working aspect of the key has some damage. The coin purse is also in very good condition with only one link currently not attached but this does not detract. Overall this would be one of the most elegant and beautiful chatelaines of the romantic Art Nouveau era and would be of the quality to enhance any collection of fashion accessories, silver or find a home even within a museum. Maximum length 8.5 ins (21.5cm). Weight 112 grams. This item appears in my book, “Chatelaines, Utility to Glorious Extravagance” on page 250.
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