What Is A Vintage Chatelaine? – National Rarities
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What Is A Vintage Chatelaine?

What Is A Vintage Chatelaine?

Have you ever heard of a chatelaine? During this day in age, odds are you probably haven’t, but surprisingly, we see vintage chatelaines more often than you might think.

A chatelaine is an elegant belt hook or clasp worn at one’s waist during the Victorian period since most women’s clothing did not have pockets.  Each chatelaine had multiple chains suspended from it that held items for everyday use. Some examples are keys, thimbles, notepad, timepieces, scissors, and other necessary items.

The chatelaine was also used in the 19th century to showcase a woman’s rank, placement, or status within the household. The woman with the most keys to doors, chests, and cabinets was generally known as the “Lady of the House” and therefore could assert authority over other servants, and maids.

Wearing a chatelaine with household keys was an honor and younger girls would often look up to those women who were given the responsibility to adorn them.  Some girls would even make their own mock chatelaines and wear them about the house in hopes of gaining the responsibility someday.

These elegant embellishments are not common today but at National Rarities, we are lucky to have access to some of the most compelling pieces of the 19th century, including vintage chatelaines.

This exquisite vintage chatelaine shopping list is in very fine, pre-owned condition. Complete with an exceptional Art Nouveau design in 14k yellow gold, this intricate piece is one-of-a-kind. The actual shopping list fits into the gold case, creating a concealed foldable file for everyday use. The list is made of a material similar to Formica and fans out to reveal the penciled items from decades past. This sliver of history is exceptional and will add a unique touch to any vintage collection.



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Another piece we want to showcase is these incredible vintage chatelaine eyeglasses. Preserved in very fine, pre-owned condition, this Chatelaine has a beautiful Victorian design and comes in refined 14k yellow gold.  The glasses lock into the housing and release with a switch, then flip out, then flip again to reveal the glasses. If you are searching for a piece of history to add to your collection, these one-of-a-kind eyeglasses are sure to bring a sense of timeless appeal to your collectibles.


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At National Rarities, we aim to provide timeless, unique pieces for our clientele to truly dive into specific eras in history and appreciate the appeal of past fashions and styles.

If you are searching for more rare items to add to your vintage collections, contact National Rarities today to learn more about our inventory!