Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: The Schindler Chatelaine, 1760

Enameled Gold Chatelaine
Part of a set by Philipp Ernst Schindler
The Victoria & Albert Museum

While Eighteenth-Century Viennese goldsmiths were widely heralded for their exceptional gold boxes, they also produced a wide range of other luxury items which would have been found in Europe's most affluent households.

The lady of a fine house would always have had a superb chatelaine--a pin from which she could suspend a watch and other necessary household items.  Even cherished housekeepers would sometimes be gifted such extravagant items.  Take this glorious chatelaine, for example, which represents the best of the Viennese tradition of  enameled gold objects.

The Schindler Chatelaine, made by Philipp Ernst Schindler II, forms part of an exceptional set designed to neatly cater to the necessities of elegant life.  The set comprises an étui (or small case) with a knife, snuff spoon, toothpick and ear pick, watch and châtelaine (from which the watch hung) and a matching snuffbox. The chatelaine was worn at the waist either on a belt or apron.

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