This is a particularly beautiful guard chain of 14 carat gold. When acquired it was stated to be American, and wrought from double links with Eastlake-style gold box slide with wirework, enamel, two small natural seed pearls and golden tassel. It was considered a fine example of American goldsmith's art, c1870-1880. The beautiful slide has a geometric pattern of raised wirework, engraving around the edges and two small seed pearls in the centre. The plain back is unmarked. There may be the remnants of some black enamel amongst the decoration. The slide suspends a central fine tassel. This is an exceptional example with intricate design of engraving at the top with four pierced pillars which join at the top just below the attachment to the slide. The actual chain ends with a classic gold swivel. The slide, tassel and swivel test as 10 carat and the chain tests as 14 carat. This is a most desirable chain as it is of the full classic length of an early guard chain and has not been divided as has been the fate of so many Victorian examples. The chain without swivel is 56 inches. In its day, this would have been worn draped on the bodice with a watch at the end or possibly a locket, with the appendage placed in a watch pocket either on the bodice or the top of the skirt. This style of wearing can be seen in one of the images. For modern usage, it can be worn looped two or three times around the neck with a lovely locket, watch, seal, key etc attached to the swivel to complete a stunningly elegant jewellery accessory. Its condition is excellent for age with a nicely opening and closing swivel and it would grace any exclusive jewellery collection. Each link measures 4mm wide for a total length of 56 ins (142.3cm). Slide with tassel is 3 ins (7.5cm). Total weight including slide is 48 grams. This item appears in my book “How the Watch was Worn, A Fashion for 500 Years” on page 99.
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