While vintage shopping on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, I found this antique chatelaine accessory at a small antique shop that was going out of business. It was likely used as a locket or perhaps a keepsake box a hundred or so years ago. It dates to the era when chatelaines were a useful and stylish accessory.
Clothing in those times didn’t have pockets and woman needed to carry small but necessary items with them. What evolved was a “lady of the caste” decorative belt hook at the waist where small items could be attached – thimbles, keys, watches, notebooks, coin purses, lockets, etc. – and the items carried often indicated the woman’s status. This piece is one of those attachable items which would hook onto the chatelaine.
Chatelaines were most popular in the mid l860s to the end of that century, and died out by the early l900s. This hexagon shaped locket or keepsake box is from that era, likely Victorian. The locket opens with a small hook at the very, opening nearly flat with two compartments. On the inside is a maker’s mark in super tiny font which appears to be “TCM.” Closed this gold tone locket measures 1.5” in lenth and with a 1.25” tassel, and is 1" wide. From the bottom to the attachment ring is 6". On the front is an etched floral design.
Overall the locket is in very good antique condition for its over 110+ years of existence. Most of its wear is in the form of light scratches to the metal with some wear along the opening edge and bottom hinge area. The pictures offer greater perspective on the antique condition and old world charm of this chatelaine locket. (Note: I have a red camera and on some pictures there is its shadow).
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