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Locket with Watch and Chatelaine

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Locket with Watch and Chatelaine

Date: c. 1870
Medium: Silver, niello, enamel, steel
Dimensions:
120.7 x 36.5 x 12.7 mm
Credit Line: Proctor Collection, Thomas R. Proctor Watch Collection
Object number: PC. 257
Label Text
Makers sometimes incorporated watches into large pieces of jewelry. By mid-nineteenth century many pieces of jewelry were fitted with a compartment to hold a lock of hair from a deceased loved one. Memorial or mourning jewelry, as it was known, was especially popular in the last half of the nineteenth century when Queen Victoria and her subjects went into deep mourning after the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861.

Text Entries

Makers sometimes incorporated watches into larger pieces of jewelry. On this chatelaine, the watch was set into an oval locket that features an interior compartment for a lock of hair. By the mid-nineteenth century many pieces of jewelry were fitted with a chamber to contain a lock of hair, which might be from a loved one or from someone dear who had died. Jewelry designed for the latter purpose, known as memorial or mourning jewelry, was especially popular in the last half of the nineteenth century, when Queen Victoria (1819-1901) and her subjects went into deep mourning after the death of Prince Albert (b. 1819) in 1861. This locket/watch chatelaine, finished in niello, may have been intended as a piece of memorial jewelry.

The shield-shape plaque on the chatelaine is decorated with a checkered pattern in niello. It is connected to the locket/watchcase by a scroll-shaped plaque featuring a pattern of scrolls and a squirrel and by two checkered straps with buckles. The watchcase is decorated with vines and, on the reverse, a flying crane. Although by the time this watch was made most watches were keyless, this example retains a winding key hanging from the plaque in the manner of earlier chatelaines.