• 2003
    © Photo Molteni & Motta


    The Castellan wife, femme du chatelaine, was the symbol of a figure of authority, holding as she did, all the keys of the castle. She wore them attached to her belt around an ample dress, linked to a series little chains inheriting the name of chatelaines. Given the convenience of such an accessory, various practical objects were added: scissors, sewing articles, eyeglasses, and anything else that served to have at hand. Almost always, they were made of coarse, unrefined materials, and the châtelaine did not abandon its somber elegance, affording itself measured decorative qualities, affirming its domesticity of use, while also declaring itself a sophisticated feminine accessory.

    With the passing of time, Spartan utensils deprived of frivolity were added, called by the French court galanterie: mirrors, makeup cases, miniscule bottles of perfume and that most useful of all accessories, the watch, quickly becoming an integral part. Thus, mantled with a new found sumptuousness, it transformed itself into a distinctive emblem of aristocrats or the bourgeois society, giving them an important role in their dress.

    Hung upon a pendant, secured by a clip belt, worn on the front part of the dress, pants, or hung on the breast as a pin, it gave life to precious masterworks.