Tag Archive | chatelaine

Eye On Design: Octopus Chatelaine

octopus chatelaine photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

With its eight limbs, the octopus was an ingenious choice for a Chatelaine; a belt hook that carried small household items from its chains. Surviving records suggest that Gorham Manufacturing Company made two Octopus Chatelaines (this one is circa 1887).

octopus chatelaine detail photo by gail worley
Detail View

At least one of these devices was equipped by the factory with its attachments, including scissors, a knife, a vinaigrette (small decorative box), a tablet, a pin cushion, and a needle case. The back plate is marked with the Gorham trademark and stamped with the date letter for 1887. The Octopus and its chains are sterling silver and the eyes are surprisingly not polished garnets, but red glass.

octopus chatelaine installation view photo by gal worley
Octopus Chatelaine Installation View

Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.