Heirloom Chatelaines: What They Are And How They Are Used

10 September 2020
 Categories: , Blog


Do you enjoy wearing items from the past that create a sense of nostalgia? If you are looking for a rare and unique way to add a little nostalgic bling to your accessories, look no further than a beautiful heirloom chatelaine. Chatelaines can be worn just as ornamental jewelry but can also be used as practical pieces, especially for the seamstress or embroidery lover.

What is a chatelaine?

The word chatelaine comes from the French word that means castle or chateau. A chatelaine was originally carried by the person who held the keys to the castle or home. This original cluster of keys, used only for practical purposes, became quite elaborate and started to contain both decorative and useful items as time progressed.

In the 17th century, chatelaines were worn as fashionable jewelry. Eventually, they were worn clipped to a belt or waistband and used more for utilitarian purposes, such as carrying keys, watches, pencils, etc. The chatelaine made it easy to keep items close at hand that were used for practical purposes throughout the day.

Chatelaines today

Sewing chatelaines grew in popularity in recent decades and are not only a great fashion statement for the seamstress, but they also hold small sewing necessities, such as scissors, pin cushions, thread, a needle threader, etc. Chatelaines can also house thimbles in decorative boxes or cages on the chain. They are often worn around the neck like a necklace today. 

If you are not a seamstress, there are still other options for you to enjoy when it comes to chatelaines. Purse chatelaines can be hooked to a belt and worn around the waist to carry essentials. Rarely simple, chatelaines are crafted with detail and may contain patterns, such as flowers or other designs.

Chatelaines as gifts

Chatelaines make great heirloom gifts to hand down for generations to come. Imagine how special a grandchild will feel when they receive grandmother's beautiful sewing chatelaine they remember her wearing when they went to visit. A lovely sterling silver pencil chatelaine makes a great gift for someone who enjoys writing or keeping a diary.

What is not to love about a beautiful heirloom chatelaine? Whether you wear a chatelaine simply as a piece of nostalgic jewelry or for practical purposes, you will be keeping a part of history alive. Not only will it make a great addition to your accessories, but it will also be a lasting heirloom you can pass down to future generations.

For more information, reach out to an heirloom chatelaines retailer.