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thimble / sheath / scissors / needlework equipment / needle-case / chatelaine

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1978,1002.404

  • Description

    Three-coloured gold chatelaine with five suspension hooks bearing needlework implements, a pair of scissors with a sheath on a chain, a thimble in a case, a screw-top lid for a missing needle-case, and two egg-shaped compartments with hinged lids. The hook-plate is decorated in applied coloured gold with a scene of a dog mourning at a tomb. The other elements are decorated with applied flowers and trophies on an engraved ground. Three oak leaves and mark on the hook.

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  • Date

    • 18thC(late)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 28.4 centimetres
    • Width: 5.7 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        hook
      • Inscription Content

        PMP beneath a crown
      • Inscription Comment

        unidentified
  • Curator's comments

    Text from catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no. 438:
    The oak leaves do not correspond exactly to any of the marks published in standard sources. The marks are possibly examples of the so-called 'prestige' marks, often similar to Paris marks, which appear on a number of boxes of the eighteenth century or later and which, according to Snowman, are mainly Swiss in origin. 'A series of marks which turn up with surprising frequency presents a special problem; a number of obviously genuine eighteenth-century boxes are stamped with marks curiously similar to the Paris ferme - similar, yet one might say deliberately different; on occasions they are even engraved and not stamped at all. Boxes marked in this way are generally described in catalogues as bearing false French marks.' (Snowman 1966, p.90)
    Searches in the Geneva archives have not traced either the letters PMP crowned or the oak leaf. It is possible that these marks are related to the similarly unidentified marks that occur on a group of gold boxes in the Louvre (Grandjean 1981, nos.602-606), the letters M & P crowned, flanked by two leaves. According to Grandjean, this group of boxes is not of French origin.

    Supplement to catalogue entry:
    Swiss chatelaine, sold at auction July 13, 1964, Lot 159, £230, `said to have belonged to Louis Philippe' according to the catalogue. (Charlotte Gere)

    The central suspension hook would have been for a watch; the chains with scissors and sheath for the blades are probably later additions. (Charlotte Gere)

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  • Bibliography

    • Gere et al 1984 438 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    Unidentified auction. Original invoice for £230 to Anne Hull Grundy dated 13.7.1964, described as 'lot 159; A fine Swiss four-coloured gold chatelaine, the upper part chased with a hound with ruins behind, within foliage borders, and suspending various cases for implements, including a thimble case and scissors, each boldly chased en suite, late 18th century. Said to have belonged to Louis Philippe'.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1978,1002.404

  • Additional IDs

    • HG.404 (masterlist number)
Chatelaine; three-colour gold; five suspension hooks bearing needlework implements; pair of scissors; sheath on chain; thimble in case; screw-top lid for missing needle-case; two egg-shaped compartments with hinged lids; hook-plate decorated in applied coloured gold: scene with dog mourning at tomb; other elements decorated with applied flowers and trophies on engraved ground; marked on hook.

Chatelaine; three-colour gold; five suspension hooks bearing needlework implements; pair of scissors; sheath on chain; thimble in case; screw-top lid for missing needle-case; two egg-shaped compartments with hinged lids; hook-plate decorated in applied coloured gold: scene with dog mourning at tomb; other elements decorated with applied flowers and trophies on engraved ground; marked on hook.

Image description

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Object reference number: MCT4121

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