Mother of Pearl Chatelaine - This exquisite gilt and mother of pearl chatelaine is both rare and beautiful. It
consists of a central etui holding multiple tools and two side cases that are now empty. The gilt tools in the etui
include scissors, snuff spoon, bodkin/earspoon, tweezers, nail file, pencil case (with the tiny original pencil) and
an ivory aide memoire. One of the two side cases would have held a thimble while the other one was probably
a patch box. A patch was the little black beauty mark that 18th century ladies wore on their faces. The
chatelaine also features a buckle on the back of the top medallian so that it could be worn over a belt or ribbon at the waist. This stunning chatelaine is circa 1730-1740.
The mother of pearl is etched with graceful swirls and flourishes. The etching on the gilt is both ornate and
elegant. It's simply impossible to describe how stunningly beautiful this chatelain is, and the pictures don't do it
justice. A similar chatelaine is pictured in three different places in the wonderful book entitled Chatelaines by
Nerylla Taunton and Genevieve Cummins. That one is pictured in Colour Plates 15 & 187 as well as on the cover of the book. And the book mentions a similar mother of pearl chatelaine that can be viewed in the
Jewellery Gallery of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England.
The chatelaine itself is in very good condition. The tools are all in good condition. The ivory aide memoire will
occaisionally slide down a bit in the inside of the case, but if you are careful when you push it into the case, it
sits up just fine. It's also not difficult to retrieve it with a pair of tweezers if it slips down.