Jane Austen’s Personal Necessities, keys, or chatelaines was a set of useful items hung from waist by decorative chain. Chatelaines and Chains. History Notes Book 9 By Suzi Love. Women in charge of households dangled long chains from their waists to keep essentials within easy reach e.g. keys, notebook and pen, watch, sewing items, vinaigrette or perfume, or magnifying glass. Early chatelaine were simple essentials. Later chatelaine were decorative and expensive. http://books2read.com/SuziLoveChatelaines
- The word Chatelaine is French and means the keeper of the keys
- Chatelaine” derives from the Latin word for castle
- In Medieval times, the chatelaine was in charge of the day-to-day running of the castle.
Definition: Chatelaine: Set of useful items, eg keys or writing tools, hung from the waist by a decorative chain.
What did a chatelaine do?
- Most important task was keeper of the keys.
- Also ordered supplies, did bookkeeping, supervised servants, taught castle children, and organized guests.
What were chatelaines used for?
- Worn by women of all classes, from workers to nobility
- Varied depending on class and finances.
- Made of silver, brass, steel, leather, or fabric
- Castle keepers needed keys safe, yet easily accessible.
- By 1700’s, a metal jeweled ornament hung from pockets, attached to belts, or by hooks into skirt waistbands
- During 1800’s, women wore large collections of tools hung from chains
- Young girls sewed and did needlework and needed to carry sewing notions eg scissors, thimbles
- During 19th century, fashionable dresses often had no waist and nowhere to hang chatelaines
- Chatelaines became decorative brooches
- Often given as a wedding present from a husband to bride
- Later became fashion accessories