This beautiful 18th century sewing chatelaine is made of Pinchbeck* and is going on to 300 years old. This is an especially nice example because it has 5 appendages and they are all matching and original. The waist plaques and tools are in the Rococo style featuring scrolls, figures and masks. The Greek mythological figures Cupid & Psyche are shown on the top plaque. The appendages are 2 needle cases, a thimble case, a scissors case and an extra small case (for wax or a small bobbin). The thimble case has a brass thimble. It is in great condition with no damage and is about an American size 7/8 (14.75 mm diameter opening). There are little steel scissors in the scissors case (2 5/8" long). They are also in excellent condition with no rust or damage. The blades are tight with intact points and they cut well.
Four of the cases open with push buttons on the side and all work well, closing properly with a click. The small needle case doesn't have a button (and isn't supposed to), but clicks closed securely. The chatelaine pieces are all in excellent condition with no wear to the gilding and no loss or damage. The clip is strong and I'm sure it's all original. It measures 7 1/4" from top to bottom and is an exceptionally heavy and high quality example One of this age with the same 5 tools is shown on p. 31 of Nerylla Taunton's book Antique Needlework Tools and Embroideries. Another is shown on p. 61 of Bridget McConnel's book The Story of Antique Needlework Tools. The postage shown includes Registered shipping for non US addresses and insured UPS Ground shipping within the US.
*Pinchbeck is a special alloy of copper & zinc that was created as a substitute for gold by London clockmaker Christopher Pinchbeck (1670-1732). His son carried on the business but apparently the formula died with him. Many attempted to imitate his alloy, but he must have had some further trade secret, either in the process of manufacture or in the after-treatment, to account for the superior wearing qualities and true gold color.