Beaded Chain

Collection Type

  • Clothing and accessories






Flat beaded watch chain with a variety of blue and gold geometric shapes and a set of objects related to devotion and loyalty, such as hearts, anchors, baskets and urns. These are woven in blue glass and hexagonal gold metallic beads, with a black beaded background. Black silk ribbon ties stitched to each end would have been tied to the watch. The entire chain would have then been looped around the neck, with the watch tucked into a pocket or waistband. Both men and women wore these beaded chains.


Descriptive Terms

glass (material)
flax (fiber)
silk (fiber)
Chain, Watch


"Mementos: Jewelry of Life and Love from Historic New England": Love gifts extended far beyond rings. Especially in the 1830s young women spent hours carefully weaving beaded chains for their loved ones. Tiny glass beads spelled out messages and depicted love symbols such as pairs of gold rings, hearts, anchors (a symbol of hope), and keys (to one's heart).


"Affection's Offering PDL" (Beaded)

Additional Identification Number




Location of Origin

United States


1/4 (W) (inches)

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Lydia G. Chace

Accession Number


Reference Notes

For more information on beaded chains see Bassett, Lynne Zacek. "Woven Bead Chains of the 1830s," "The Magazine Antiques." (December 1995): 798-807.

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