Wedgwood Chatelaine & Watch
My mother traveled to England with the International Wedgwood Society, and at that point I believe she picked up this unit or units. She may have picked these up separately, but she was very proud of the Wedgwood piece she had acquired, and I fell in love with the fusee wind watch.
Well, the object that we have in front of us is called a chatelaine. And in the 18th century, a chatelaine was a popular type of daytime jewelry worn both by men and by women. And it's a way of suspending a watch which at that time was more of a jewel than it was a useful timekeeper. So if we take a look at the whole thing together, we can see first of all, here is the fusee watch. That's signed by someone named Philippe Terrot who was a maker in Geneva at the end of the 18th century. What we see here now is a hook and a small triangular piece which are made out of cut steel, highly polished and faceted to imitate what precious stones might look like. You mentioned the name Wedgwood, and Josiah Wedgwood was a maker of porcelain in England. This is a type of ceramic known today as Jasperware. Jasperware was an imitation of a cameo. During the 18th century, one of the major inventions in Europe was how to make porcelain. So this was considered, at the time, a very precious material even though it's just ceramic, the same sort of material that we would have coffee or tea out of today. There's a plaque which you've told me is signed Wedgwood. Further down on the chatelaine are some tassels made out of glass beads, some gold-colored objects. We then also have a looking glass-- a lorgnette-- and a key. What's most interesting is that this is really made up out of genuine old pieces, but it probably wasn't born together. So probably they had some pieces of Wedgwood that were perfectly genuine, but they didn't have quite enough to make a chatelaine. So what they have done is basically cobble together parts that were made, say, between 1790 and 1800 to put together a chatelaine. This makes it very difficult to appraise. A good Wedgwood chatelaine in good condition is probably worth around $3,500, $4,000. This, we have bits and pieces. So realistically, one has to look at the watch and the pieces together, and my best guess is that this is something that would be worth about, let's say, $1,000 to $1,200 made up of all the individual pieces. Just a lovely object, and I'm very glad you brought it with you today.
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