A charming French chatelaine chainmaile miniature purse, it is has a beautifully engraved design of interlocking circles. It originates from a Parisian estate and dates towards 1850.
A chatelaine is a decorative belt hook or clasp worn at the waist with a series of chains suspended from it, at the end of each chain was a useful household appendage such as scissors, thimble, watch, key, vinaigrette, perfume, household seal, and coin purse. This chainmaile purse would most likely hold coins, jewellery, or a small handkerchief while still being elegant and dainty for the women of the Victorian age.
This silver purse is decorated with lovely etched flowers and leaves with a loop design to match the delicate interlocking circles of the metal work. The metal detailing is an incredible and intricate work of interlocking chains. Four metal beads hang down from the chain to give the purse more decoration and add an extra embellishment to the ladies' outfit. The latch has two globes which appear to "kiss", often called a kissing latch. The interior has two compartments separated by a chainmaile divider. The purse has a small loop on the back which would be attached to the Chatelaine belt on the waistband of the ladies dress or coat with a silver chain or a ribbon to hold it in place.
The purse is in very good antique condition: the latch works properly, it could be polished to a brighter patina if desired; we chose to leave the original charming patina. The measurements are: 2.5" in length and 2" across in width, the interior 1 3/4" wide when open.
If only this small Victorian purse could speak of it's many journeys amidst beautiful ball gowns, candlelight and laughter........
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French Antiques: 19th Century French Smalls: Sewing, Religious, Bronze Figures-French Books and Bindings