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Gold colored metal (pinchbeck) chatelaine with two miniature paintings on ivory. The belt hook is set with an oval miniature depicting a woman in a white dress holding red flowers sitting by an urn and a child or cherub is sitting behind her. The second miniature hangs from three chains suspended from the base of the first miniature. A pair of shorter chains are also suspended from the base of the first miniature, terminating in a link with a loop for a suspension ring, now missing. The second miniature depicts a woman standing in front of a marble bust on a stand. The second miniature supports three chains terminating in rings for the attachment of objects. Both miniatures are framed by a row of faceted marcasites. Marcasites are also set on each of the chains. The larger, second miniature is flanked with neoclassical wreaths of a brighter, yellow-green-colored gold substitute. The back of the lower miniature is engraved with concentric geometric designs surrounding the owner's initials.
ivory (tooth component)
By the late eighteenth century mourning and memorial jewelry had moved far beyond rings to a much wider range of forms. The ivory insets on this chatelaine depict a young woman in classical dress below and in eighteenth-century dress above. Women wore chatelaines tucked into the waist of their skirts to keep small things handy.
Reverse of large miniature is engraved: "H P"
Reverse of belt hook is stamped "PG / 6" (Engraved and stamped)
Washington, Martha, 1732-1802
1 1/4 (W) (inches)
Gift of Miss Margaret F. Martin
"Hidden Treasures from Elegant Eras," Historic Jewelry from the Collections of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities presented by Shreve, Crump & Low, September 15 - November 30, 1995; and "Jewelry at Historic New England," Online exhibit presented by Historic New England launched September 30, 2007 at www.historicnewengland.org/jewelryhistory/.
Title Letter Accession Number 1948.127