This is an extraordinary find. It is the waist plaque of a late 18th century chatelaine/equipage which would originally have had a ribbon or hair chain attaching to the plaque and to its trinkets. The actual plaque consists of an oval within gilt metal. The oval is covered with glass which reveals an intricate image of two doves, one drinking from an urn. The urn is rimmed with tiny pearls and the birds and urn are most likely constructed from hair. The base of the urn has another row of tiniest pearls and foliage and at the top of the oval is the word LAMITIE for friendship. The waist plaque attaches to a long tongue which would have been placed behind the skirt band or belt to secure it in position. The bottom of the plaque has a series of four holes through which thread could have attached the plaque to the ribbon or plaited hair. Steel and hair examples have been seen in eminent museums. The overall condition is excellent for age. This is a very special item to add to a collection of sentimental, mourning or early jewellery and is of museum quality. Maximum length 2.5 ins (6.4cm). Maximum width 0.75 ins (1.8cm). Weight 16 grams. This item appears in my books “Chatelaines, Utility to Glorious Extravagance” and “How the Watch was Worn, A Fashion for 500 Years”.
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