The Chatelaine--An Antique Multitool for Women

A busy woman needs the tools of her work accessible. This was a challenge when fashions did not include many pockets. The chatelaine was a popular solution in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries:

Like a customized Swiss Army knife, a chatelaine provided its wearer with exactly the tools she needed closest at hand. For an avid seamstress, that might include a needle case, thimble, and tape measure, while for an active nurse it might mean a thermometer and safety pins. Inspired by the complex key rings carried by “la chatelaine,” the female head of a grand French estate, these beautiful little contraptions were as fashionable as they were practical. In fact, their design was sometimes so trendy that style trumped usefulness.


(Images: Genevieve Cummins)

Newest 4
Newest 4 Comments

Commenting is closed.

Email This Post to a Friend
"The Chatelaine--An Antique Multitool for Women"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More