I found another silver chatelaine at the Costume Museum recently.  Click here to see the first one.  And here is the latest one.IMG_20160503_183605407

The previous one seemed to be a seamstress’ chatelaine as it had things one needs when sewing.  Today’s seems to be more in line with a lady of the house.  You will see what I mean in a few moments. But first lets look at the clasp end. IMG_20160503_183228915

If you enlarge this photo, you stop seeing a naked lady and a baby, and you see cupid receiving an arrow from the woman whom I assume is the goddess of love, Aphrodite aka Venus.  All art seems to portray her as naked with an occasional blanket thrown in.

The links underneath are more cherubs.IMG_20160503_183610189

The tools are attached via chains with floral motifs.


Okay, now for the tools.  The first is a pencil.IMG_20160503_183632427

The second is a button hook.IMG_20160503_183635098

The third is a vesta which is basically a match holder with a strike pad.  IMG_20160503_183645661

I’m not too sure what the next bit is…there is something missing.  Perhaps it was a note pad or a pin cushion.  I’m leaning towards a note pad.  Why have a pencil but nothing to write on.IMG_20160503_183638528

The final item is a bottle.  I’m guessing it is for perfume.  Or perhaps smelling salts. IMG_20160503_183650451

As you can see the bottle is engraved and the lid is missing.

I think this was a busy middle class mom kind of chatelaine because a nurse or shop girl would have different tools and I would also think their chatelaine wouldn’t be so ornate. A lady’s maid may need these tools but her employer would have to be really rich and really love her ladies maid to give her an engraved ornate chatelaine. This would have everything you’d need to get your family up and moving in the morning.  You’d need the matches to start the stoves and fireplaces.  The button hook would button her own boots or her or the children’s shoes. Everyone needs a pencil and note pad (or an android phone) and a dab of perfume before hubby comes home would be very appropriate.  The fact that it is so ornate and engraved says to me that this lady is from a fairly well off home but not a home where there is a servant to do everything. The Cupid/Venus theme has me wondering if this was some sort of wedding gift.

This is what I love most about looking at antiques…trying to imagine who might have used the item and what was their life like.  Sometimes I get rocked by the realization that they are not characters in books or movies.  They were real people who lived and thought and dreamed and worried and cried just like I do.  Their world was as normal and real to them as mine is to me.  Some how I keep thinking that they viewed the time they come from like I do…like it isn’t real, like it is in black and white or sepia color, and that their time is something they think about abstractly when they are resting from the real world (my world).  It is quite self centered thinking to think that everything in time and everything that has and will live will only consider my world as the real one.  Lord, I’d never survive a time travel experience!

Turn the page: possible last name

It has been a month and a half since my last posting about my cabinet card album.  Sorry about that.  Hopefully, this post will worth the wait.3a

We will start with the photo on the right because we want to finish this post with a bit of a bang.3d

This poor thing got into the hands of a child.  Luckily, the damage isn’t so bad that we can’t see the ladies.3e

My guess is this is a daughter/mother photo because they look related.  “Mom’s” hair is firmly 1880’s.  Daughter’s is smoother and bigger on the top…transitioning towards Gibson girl hair perhaps.  Her sleeves are pretty big too.  So my guess for dating is late 80’s-early 90’s.  The embossed border started in 1894 so perhaps my estimate of early 90’s is most accurate.

Okay, now for the good stuff!3b

Nice family photo and I think this is my first photograph with a pet!  We have 4 children, 2 of which are plainly boys.  The other 2, I can’t guess.  They are before the age of breeching (switching to pants) and the hair seems to be combed forward.  Center parts imply girls and side parts are boys in the Victorian era-I don’t know what combing forward means.  If I were to guess based on their dresses I’d say the older one is male.  There is lace but the pleats seem hard and crisp and that says male to me.  There is much more lace on the youngest one so perhaps this is a girl.

The gold mine is on the back!3c

Someone has taken the time to label this.  Annie McVictie -> and children.  This I interpret as Annie is the mother of these 4 children.  Lucy Reilly (Grandma. This I interpret as the other woman is named Lucy Reilly and she is the writer’s grandmother.

The name Lucy came up before. There is a card labelled “to Lucy” and I hoped this meant that Lucy owned the album.  Now Lucy has a last name…Reilly!  There is another card in the album that says “to Uncle Will”.   So potentially, the album owners are Will and Lucy Reilly.  I ran these names on Google but didn’t get far…I kept hitting sites that want me to pay money to see what they can offer.  If I wont do it to trace my own kin, I wont do it to trace strangers!

Now my question is, “which lady is Lucy?”  The lady on the left seems to be sitting closer to the younger children and seems to be holding the baby so I think she is Annie.  Also the inscription lists the non-family member first so I think the writer labeled the people in the same order as their seating arrangement.  So I think the lady on the right is our cabinet card album owner!  I will have to go back over the album and see if I can find more photos of her or at least look for family resemblances.

Pretty pretty, me wanty wanty!

I give you more of my favorites in the Costume Museum of Canada’s jewelry collection.

Here is a lovely cameo.  The date is unknown but, judging by the clasp, could be Victorian/Edwardian.

This next one is similar to one I own and is dated 1890.

This next cameo features deer.  Hidden in the back is a photograph that would be worn close to the wearer’s body.  Could be memorial jewelry.

This bar pin could be my favorite.  So cute!  Dated 1890-1900.

This final one is undated.  I was drawn to its steampunk “feel”.

So which is your favorite from this selection?


The modern side

During the accessories display the Costume Museum had Victorian and Edwardian accessories on one side of the room and they had more modern items on the other.  Even though this is not my particular interest, I did take some broad photographs of these items because I did help a bit with them as well.


1920’s outfit


1930’s beach ensemble


A table full of 20’s and 30’s accessories.


1940’s suit


1950’s casual wear


A table full of 40’s and 50’s things.

We will be back to our regular Victorian features next time.  Thanks for indulging me!



While getting ready for the accessories display the Costume Museum of Canada had last weekend, I amassed a pile of photographs of some of the museum pieces.  Time to use some of them up.  Hope you enjoy.

These gloves are really weird.  I don’t know the year but I do know the owner had really long skinny arms!


And finally an earring from 1885.  I couldn’t find the mate to it.  I hope we still have it and it will turn up soon.1885 earring CMC