Monday, 11 January 2016

A Châtelaine: HSM Challenge #1

 Challenge: Procrastination. I started this in the summer- and I finished it only about a week ago (ok, I guess not so bad, but still...).

Material: Metal (mostly brass with some gold-covered parts, I think)- more specifically, two old buttons, chain, some wire and some small metal bits for attaching pieces of jewellery to one another.

Period: Late 18th century/early 19th century

How historically accurate is it? I made it mostly to look good. While the design is inspired by one that I saw in a museum (see below), it's not particularly historically accurate. I used jewellery bits I already had, or could easily buy at the nearest beading store, and I have no actual metallurgy skills (that belt hook in the inspiration piece, pictured below, would certainly take metal forging skills, not to mention everything else). The accessories I have hanging on it aren't particularly historically accurate either, but are my very modern approximations of accessories someone could hang on one of these.

Hours to complete: About 4 or less for the actual assembly of the piece (figuring it out and trying to find parts was much longer, hence the procrastination)

First worn: January 10th, at Montgomery's Inn for the Twelfth Night Ball. Just saying though, these things are awesome (and convenient if you haven't got pockets) but are a heck to position right so they don't tangle as you walk!

Total cost: about $7 (Can.)


The inspiration for this piece came from a wonderful little section in the European design gallery at the ROM which focussed on 18th century ladies' accessories. Although I don't have a photo of the entire set-up they had, I was able to take a photo of the châtelaine itself:
18th century châtelaine, in the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum.

Unfortunately I don't think there are actually any good photos online of this artefact,
 and this was the best pic I could get with my camera

I decided to copy the general shape of this one (as well as the metal tongue- mine's just basically some twisted wire, but that part goes under the waistband and no one sees it, so it's ok). I also found the metal tassels a really cute detail. This detail appears on other châtelaines as well, like this gorgeous one in the Museum of London:
Gold Châtelaine, 18th century. Museum of London.
Picture source:

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