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Antique Gold Woven Long Guard Chain


Long guard chains have a significant place in the history of jewelry with its popularity lasting from the Georgian era (18th century) throughout that of the Victorian years of the 19th century. At times referred to as a longchain, this type of “necklace” could be worn across the shoulders, around the neck, attached to the bodice to form two symmetrical or asymmetrical festoons over the chest or tucked into the “girdle” of a dress. Victorian women had a predilection for these trailing chains to secure a watch, keys, a lorgnette or even a purse which could be tucked into a pocket at the waist or allowed to hang unencumbered.

Here is an example featuring a 14k yellow gold chain of fine woven mesh. More than 58 inches in total length, the chain drapes down about 29 inches. Sinuous and flexible, the entire piece appears as though it were “knitted” using an extensive length of only one gold wire. Along the surface at ¼ of an inch intervals are tiny rose gold lozenge appliqués in diamond shapes. The longchain terminates with 18k yellow gold fittings including a dog clip.

Today it can be worn doubled, tripled or long, with a pendant or charm or without. Its modern sensibilities and rose and yellow gold make it perfect "go with" accessory.

Date: Circa 1850.

+ Measurements, Condition & More

Measurements: 58 inches (147.5 cm) in length and is 3/16 of an inch (0.4 cm) at the widest. Weight of 20.0 grams (12.9 dwt).

Hallmarks: French hallmarks on the fittings, chain is European.

Condition: Excellent.

Origin: European and French.

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