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Antique 1800's Repoussé Gothic Victorian Sterling Silver Chatelaine by Kerr

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From the height of the Victorian era, this corsage chatelaine in the form of a brooch, was made by the William B. Kerr company. It is made in sterling silver with three round amethyst cabochons as accents (these could possibly be genuine amethyst, glass, or crystal, as they have wonderful clarity. Other Kerr pieces tend to have semi precious gemstones and not glass, so in addition to the extremely high quality of workmanship, I'd guess these may indeed be genuine amethysts). The brooch chatelaine is made with the repoussé method, and it has stunning detail, featuring a wickedly grinning visage, with neo classical flourishes, surrounded by swirling motifs. It has a rich, natural patina, and 5 chains dropping down for attachments like sewing tools, an aide memoire, a pencil, a coin purse... anything a refined lady or gent would need to have close at hand. As this piece could also be worn just as jewelry, I have attached some antique Czech handblown glass drops from a similar era which coordinate nicely with the brooch. These can be easily removed as the chains end in spring clips and are included as an extra gift as I thought they looked lovely with the chatelaine. The brooch is marked on the reverse "Sterling, 48 (the style number)", with the Kerr hallmark below it. Kerr's hallmark was a fasces ~ a single-bit axe with its rods bound with straps. They used this hallmark of a medieval axe from 1855 to 1892, so this dates the brooch to 1892 at the latest. However, style-wise, I would estimate this chatelaine to be circa 1870.

The brooch itself measures approx. 3 1/2" wide and 1 1/2" tall, while the whole chatelaine is about 6 3/4" long (approx. 8 1/4" including the glass drops). The center amethyst cabochon is approx. 10 mm in diameter, while the other two are approx. 5 mm in diameter. The purple amethyst crystals are beautifully clear, and I don't see any damage to the chatelaine, so it has been well cared for over the past 120 years!

Chatelaines started as a way to carry necessary objects before the time of pockets in women's clothing. Over time, the necessity became fashionable, and chatelaines became more of an ornament, like jewelry. As many jewelers started making chatelaines in clip and brooch versions, they became more intricate and elaborate as beautifully demonstrated in this case.

The William B. Kerr Company was established in Newark, New Jersey in 1855. They were a contemporary of Unger Brothers Silver Company, and were a premiere American silver company from 1855 to 1906 when the company was sold to Gorham. The company was a maker of flat and tableware, sterling silver and gold dresser ware, and jewelry.

Overall, this chatelaine is an exquisite example of fashionable necessity, and would be a star in any collection of sewing memorabilia, or for any historical enthusiasts ~ i.e. Historical Societies, Art Nouveau, Neo-Classical, Victorian and Gothic Revival, or Steampunk. This is a rare and truly unique piece by the William B. Kerr Company, as I have not seen many other chatelaines by Kerr. A truly stunning and admirable piece.

International orders may be subject to customs fees. NC residents please add 7.25% sales tax.

All sales are final. Many thanks in advance!

Antique 1800's Repoussé Gothic Victorian Sterling Silver Chatelaine by Kerr

Overview

  • Vintage item from the 1800s
  • Materials: sterling silver, amethyst, handblown glass crystal
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 633 reviews
  • Favorited by: 38 people