- Museum number
Chatelaine of polished steel ornamented with faceted steel beads, stamped on reverse of hook-plate, with ten writing and sewing implements suspended on nine chains. The needle-case contains an engraved bodkin.
- Production date
Length: 47.50 centimetres
Width: 5.70 centimetres (hook-plate)
- Curator's comments
- Text from catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no 165:
John James Thornhill & Co., Cutlers to her Majesty, 144 New Bond Street, were established in 1734. In 1851 they exhibited a pierced hook-plate for an elaborate steel chatelaine ornamented with the Royal monogram (see Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue, 1851. p. 40). As Walter Thornhill & Co. they won prize medals in Paris in 1878.
Although the size of these chatelaines (see also 166) may not have been as unwieldy as they appear when worn over the large crinolines of the mid-nineteenth century, the fashion was mercilessly ridiculed by two cartoons in Punch. The first of these, published in January 1849 (vol XVl, p. 16) is entitled: 'How to make a Chatelaine a real blessing to mothers' and shows a mother reading as she walks her children in the park, with pram, child, dog and toys attached to her chatelaine chains. The second, also published in 1849 (vol. XVl, p. 78) is entitled: 'The Chatelaine; a really useful present' with a young wife weighed down by a huge chatelaine, which she proudly displays to her mother, with horse-shoe shaped hook-plate, suspended from which are all manner of kitchen implements - kettle, teapot, corkscrew, broom, etc. The caption below reads: 'Oh! Look, Ma dear; see what a love of a Chatelaine Edward has given me.' The theme was treated again in the first part of 1849, in an article on the state of Paris in the wake of the 1848 revolution, entitled 'Paris Revisited' with a cartoon of a gallic female amazon wearing an outsize chatelaine from which depend weapons galore - sword, dagger, pistol, rifle, axe, etc. (vol. XV1, p. 55). (Charlotte Gere)
Queen Victoria’s cut-steel chatelaine by Thornhill, self-advertised supplier of chatelaines to the Queen, has an almanac for 1849 as one of its pendants, see Marsden, Victoria & Albert, Love & Art, 2010, cat. 261, suggesting that the 1849 Punch cartoons are highly topical. (Charlotte Gere)
See also J. Rudoe, 'Jewellery at the Great Exhibition' in 'The Legacy of the Great Exhibition, Prince Albert Studies 20, Bayreuth 2002, pgs 69-82. Fig.2.7.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: HG.68.b (masterlist number)