null
Advanced Search

Pendant Watch and Chatelaine

Not on view

Pendant Watch and Chatelaine

Artist: Theodore B. Starr (active New York, New York, 1877-1923)

Date: c. 1885
Medium: Gold, crystal, steel, rubies, enamel
Dimensions:
101.6 x 34.9 x 19.1 mm
Markings: Movement: "THEODORE B. STARR, NEW YORK" Chatelaine hook: "T. B. STARR, 18.K"
Credit Line: Proctor Collection
Object number: PC. 1023.25.1-2
Label Text
In the late 1800s crystal watches in a spherical shape were sometimes suspended from small chatelaines. Although the movement of this watch is Swiss, the case was designed and probably made by Theodore B. Starr, a prominent New York City jeweler. Instead of encasing the back of the case in gold, Starr covered it with glass so the movement could be seen.

On the waist plaque a gold knot supports two chains from which the watch is suspended. Entwined loops were popular in jewelry and silver novelty items by the late nineteenth century.


Text Entries

In the late 1800s crystal ball watches were sometimes suspended from small chatelaine waist plaques. Though the movement on this watch is Swiss, the case was designed and probably made by Theodore B. Starr, a prominent New York City jeweler. Instead of encasing the back of the case in gold, Starr covered it with glass so that the wearer could observe the movement.

The decorative motif on the waist plaque is a gold knot with the longer loop supporting two chains from which the watch is suspended. A hook attached to the knot secured the chatelaine to the belt or waistband. Entwined loops were popular in jewelry and silver novelty items by the late nineteenth century. The New York City silversmith George W Shiebler and Company (active 1876-1907), for example, made articles such as a shoe horn with a twisted silver handle. Newark, New Jersey, manufacturing jeweler Alling and Company (active 1843-1915) produced hairpins and ornaments with gold spirals as the decorative motif.(1) On this watch, the scroll-like handles on the sides sup- porting the spherical Watch give the appearance of a flask suspended from double chains. Starr, whose business came to rival that of Tiffany and Company, opened his own establishment on John Street in New York in the 1860s. Within a few years he became partners with Herman Marcus (1828-99), and, as Starr and Marcus, the firm contributed a display to the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. After Marcus left the firm in 1877, Starr continued to make jewelry set with only the finest gemstones and diamonds. In 1918 the silver firm of Reed and Barton purchased the business and closed Starr‘s operation in 1925.

1. The author has an example of a Shiebler shoe horn with a twisted handle in her collection. For an illustration of the Alling & Co. hairpins and ornaments, see Ulysses G. Dietz, Jenna Weissmann Joselit, Kevin J. Smead, and Janet Zapata, The Glitter and the Gold: Fashioning America’s Jewelry (Newark, N.J.: Antique Collectors Club, 1997), p. 99, fig. 149.