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Victorian Watch jewelry, chains & fobs



WATCH & LORGNETTE CHAINS
FOBS AND RIBBONS
1860s to 1930s

Hair jewelry, once considered the
height of sentimental fashion, became less popular for a few decades in
the 20th Century. Once the century neared it’s end though, and helped along
with the Steampunk styling, it again became popular and desirable.

In Jeanenne
Bell’s book, "Collector’s Encyclopedia of Hairwork Jewelry", she states
that in the 1800’s, "watch chains were the most popular forms of hair
jewelry". Vintage catalogues offered the mounts and findings to make
these watch chains, but they were also made professionally, using the
customer’s hair if desired. These made-to-order chains and findings cost
from $8.00 to $25.00 in that era, according to one of my vintage
catalogues. Hair might be woven around a core of plaited hair or cloth
for extra stiffness or braided into different designs, and these designs of the weaving varied widely.
Combining more than one style at a time makes for a lovely chain.

Just like the metal watch chains, and as you can see in one of the
photos below, women wore these chains as necklaces and bracelets too, as
well as for watches. Fobs might include lockets, charms, symbols of
occupation or sports interests, and tools. The fobs could be decorative
or useful, as
were the chains themselves.


LORGNETTE or LONG CHAINS




VICTORIAN lady wearing a long chain with a watch attached.

PORTRAIT of a lady with her lorgnette,
hand painted on ivory circa 1870.
View
View
View
View
View #a31889

VICTORIAN
lady in white blouse with tiny tucks and wearing a watch on a slide chain.
Cabinet card 4-1/8" by 6-1/2".




VICTORIAN JFSS opal and seed
pearl slide chain, gold filled, 30".
View #V34717

"Fine rolled gold plate guard chains." Showing both Roman finish
and polished links.
Roddin Jewelry Catalogue page 127

EDWARDIAN slide chain
in 14k yellow gold with diamond heart slide with prong set diamond,
extra long at 49".
View #Q62727




14k GOLD long chains, slides and men’s chains. "Our chains
have every link soldered, making them strong and durable".
From the Daniel Low Catalogue, 1906.
LORGNETTE chain,
F&C Co gold filled 48" chain with 1/3" seed pearl slide, circa 1900.

View
#Q25386
14k GOLD brooches and long chains; 14k bead necklaces; 14k collar spreaders
and 14k gold neck chains.
From the Daniel Low Catalogue, 1906.


WATCH PINS
A watch pin has a hook on the back from which to
suspend a watch, probably most often worn by women.




ELGIN 14k yellow
gold lady’s pendant 1-1/3" watch with 1-1/3" watch holder brooch with
black enameling. Works marked "Elgin U.S.A., 15386609" size Os, circa 1910.
Case marked "Keystone Co. 14k, 5120061".
View
View #w25029

EDWARDIAN 18k yellow gold
watch pin is delicately enameled with a griffons and crown motif and is
set with a ruby (2.0mm purplish-red), five 2.0mm pearls, one old mine
cut diamond (est. .04 ct, VS, G-1), six old mine cut diamonds (est.
weight from .01 ct to .02 ct, VS, G-1) and one central fresh water pearl
(9.0mm by 7.0mm).
View
View
View
View #V24861

ART NOUVEAU 14 karat
yellow gold polychrome enamel, pearl and diamond wreath
watch pin pendant circa 1900. The dog’s tooth shaped freshwater pearl
is accented by three European diamonds (total weight approx. .03 carat
each). The catch is a safety style, with roll-over closure, and the bail
swivels to be hidden when not in use. There is slight enamel damage on
one side, invisible without a 10x loupe.
View #Q25030





10k SHAMROCK
and crescent pin enameled with delicate detail decorated
with seed pearls, watch hook on back, circa 1900, 7/8".
View #Q17834

VICTORIAN wearing her
pendant watch on a watch pin.
View

EDWARDIAN dainty 14 karat
yellow gold, pearls and blue enamel pin, marked "14k" on the catch, circa
1910, 1-1/4". This has a small hook on the back so that it can be worn as a
pendant or used as a watch pin. Total weight about .25 ounces, pearls
included. View #Q36287


WOVEN HAIR WATCH CHAINS
Made from human and sometimes horse hair, these
were done both as a home craft and professionally. The fittings could be
purchased by catalogue or in stores and came in sterling, karat gold and
base metals.





VICTORIAN
woven hair watch chain with a spinning fob of carnelian on one
side and black onyx or glas$98.00s on the other. This chain has a longer 16"
portion from the hook to the toggle and then another 3-1/2" part from the toggle
to the fob, which is 1-1/4"by 7/8". The gold tone fittings on the hair chain
have etched designs. A similar style chain can be seen in the

A.Bernard & Co 1870 Catalogue
of Victorian hair jewelry on page 39

HERE
.

View
#V38328


VICTORIAN
woven hair watch chain with moss agate cross shaped fob,
total length 13-1/2" and the fob is 1". The weaving has two strands that
twist beautifully around each other, in very good condition, and the
gold tone findings are firm and have nice weight.

View
#V38329


VICTORIAN
woven hair watch chain and locket fob, hair chain with two lovely
weaving styles and 11" long. The locket is 1/2" and folds out with metal frames
to hold two tiny photos, and it is marked inside "B Co". Both the gold tone
locket front and the chain findings have etched designs. A similar style weaving
can be seen in the

A.Bernard & Co 1870 Catalogue
of Victorian hair jewelry on page 39

HERE
.

View
#V38330





VICTORIAN
woven hair watch chain and locket fob, total length 14". The hair
portion is three stands with two weaving styles, and while it is tight, there
are some places where the weaving is coming loose. The locket opens and houses a
tiny photo of a bride wearing her veil. There is an etched design on the front
and the finish is worn, it is 11/16". The center finding holds a tiny white and
two red stones with etched designs there and on both ends. The swivel hook is
missing.

View
#V38331


VICTORIAN
woven hair watch chain with two strands, each with two
different weaving styles. The locket fob is sporting the initial "Y" in
red, clear and blue rhinestones. The locket folds open to house one tiny
photo. The gold tone finish is a bit worn on the back edges and it is
3/4′ by 3/4". The hair and chain are 15" long with gold tone fittings
decorated with etched designs.

View


View
#V38332


VICTORIAN
woven hair watch chain with two alternating weaving styles, gold
findings and a faceted topaz colored glass fob, 1/2". The total chain length is
10-1/4" and there are almost no loose hairs. The gold tone findings have etched
flower designs on them #V38333




VEST silk fob watch chains.
1899 Benjamin Allen Catalogue

VICTORIAN 375
(9 ct) hair 14" watch chain with fob engraved with initials and marked "WA
.375". View
#V21554

ONE-TENTH gold and hard solder hair chain mountings.
1899 Benjamin Allen Catalogue





VICTORIAN
woven hair watch chain and locket, chain total length unusually
long at 19" and the locket is 1-1/4" by 1". The chain has two lovely weaving
styles and the locket opens and can hold two photos, but the fittings are not
there. The locket is lovely with etched designs on both sides, but someone
tested it badly for gold content by carving a nick in the back side. The gold
tone findings all have etched designs and the center part has room for three
stones, with only two present, a white and a red cabochon.

View
#V38334


VICTORIAN
woven hair two strand watch chain and fob in gold tone.
The fob has the initials "SAW" in beautiful swirling script and it is
3/4" by 7/8". The total chain length is 10-1/2" and there are some loose
hairs, but it is tight overall. #V38335


VICTORIAN
woven hair watch chain with a photo fob set in gold tone. The
total length of the chain is 8" and the celluloid covered photo fob is 1" with a
beaded edge and the mark ""SU" on the back. There a few loose hairs along the
chain, and the weaving is tight and stable. The swivel hook is missing.
#V38336




LADY wearing gold earrings
and
a woven hair necklace made from a watch chain with a photograph pendant. Carte de viste marked
"Robertson & Brooks, Franklin, KY."

VICTORIAN gentleman
wearing a watch chain and fob. Cabinet card marked "E.M. Phillips, Fairburn,
Ills." View

"Waldemar chain: Manís watch chain,
generally about 14 inches long, usually worn across a vest front, with a
swivel for the watch bow on one end and a spring ring on the other for a
fob, charm, pocket knife etc."





VICTORIAN
woven hair watch chain, 12" with a gold tone locket, 1". The
locket can hold a photo, but the findings are missing and it is cracked, which
can be seen from the inside upon close examination. The gold tone findings show
wear and the center piece has red and white stones in it, still present. The
hair is well weaved but does have some fraying all along the chain.

View
#V38337


VICTORIAN
woven hair watch chain with gold tone fittings and a
square locket. The chain is a total length of 12-1/2" and the locket fob
is 1" by 3/4". It opens to hold two photos, one without the glass. The
hair has very little fraying and the fittings are black enamel on gold
tone with etched designs. A similar style can be seen in the A.Bernard &
Co 1870 Catalogue of Victorian hair jewelry on page 39

HERE
.

View


View
#V38338


VICTORIAN
woven hair watch chain with gold tone heart locket fob, total
length 12-1/2" and heart 3/4". The locket has an engraved heart, flower and
leaves design and opens to hold two photos, with frames but no glass, and no
swivel hook. It is marked for the maker inside "P&K". There are loose hairs
along the chain but it is firm and tight overall.

View


View
#V38339





VICTORIAN
woven hair watch chain with oval gold tone locket, chain 12"
locket 3/4" by 1/2". There are two styles of lovely weaving in the chain and
almost no loose hair at all. The locket has an applied design on the front and
opens to hold two photos, but only one has the glass and frame. Someone has
carved a nick into the back side. The gold tone fittings have etched designs.

View


View
#V38340


VICTORIAN
woven two strand hair watch chain with gold tone fittings,
total length 9-/12". The two gold fittings each have a etched design and
the hair has very little loose pieces.

View
#V38341


VICTORIAN
woven hair watch chain, 12", with a gold and silver toned fob,
7/8". The watch chain has two alternating styles of weaving, just lovely and
with almost no loose hair. The fittings are a lovely shape with etched designs
on them.

View
#V38342


WATCH CHAINS
There are several types of watch chains including
but not limited to
Albert, Albertina, Waldemar, Dickens, Victoria, Wellington, pony and
silk..



VICTORIAN 1887 Roddin Catalogue page 129
"Rolled gold plate neck chains. First quality, length 13 inches." The top
two say "plain nugget finish"; the next three are "square links"; the next
is "alternate plain and engraved links"; then "square twist links with
chased connection", and the rest are square links.

WATCH chain in gold metal
with a decorated slide and a swivel hook, men’s 11". #V23375

FINE rolled plate vest watch chains, two and three strand curbs with
slides, all have drop pieces for a charm.
From the Benjamin Allen Catalogue 1899.




G.W. HUNTLEY Co. 1913 Catalogue page 113
"Gold filled fancy safety fob chains.".

This gentleman’s fob dangles from a fabric watch holder tucked into his
pocket. His fob is a cameo.

G.W. HUNTLEY Co. 1913 Catalogue page 114.
"Fine solid glad fancy fob chains."






WATCH
holder in gold tone watch with fobs, total length 4" with the
fobs 1" by 1" and 5/8" by 5/8". The top clip would fasten to a waistband,
vest edge or pocket and the watch would be clipped to the hook.


Among other places, these can be seen in the
1913 G.W. HUNTLEY Co. 1913
Catalogue
on pages 113, 114 and 115, and the the
1923 Schwab Jewelry
Catalogue
on page 225.

#V38452



WALDEMAR
chain, a gold filled watch chain with a toggle for the buttonhole
at one end, a safety clasp for a fob on another end and the swivel hook for a
watch on the last end. The length from the toggle to the hook is 11", and
from the chain to the safety is 1-1/2". This style watch chains can be seen,
among other places, in the


1923 Schwab Jewelry Catalogue on page 225
.
#V38453



WATCH
holder in gold filled, total length 4" with a 4-1/3" chain. The
top clip would fasten to a waistband, vest edge or pocket and the watch
would be clipped to the hook. There is another ring on the front for a fob.
It is marked on the back of the hook "Anberg Mfg. Co."


Among other places, these can be seen in the
1913 G.W. HUNTLEY Co. 1913
Catalogue
on pages 113, 114 and 115, and the the
1923 Schwab Jewelry
Catalogue
on page 225.
.
View #V38451




1923 Schwab Catalogue page 225
"Gentlemen’s gold filled fobs with safety attachments."

"Ladies solid gold Victoria watch chains with attached pins and slide chains."
Also included a mother-of-pearl horn fob or charm and slide chains.
1897 Sears Catalogue, page 411




VICTORIAN 14k watch chain with
black enameling on slides, marked inside hook "14", total length 9-1/2", weight
.53ozs. The hook is marked inside "14k". View
#V34600

VICTORIAN hair unusually
woven watch chain and gold filled fob and fittings, 11-1/2" total
length. View
View
#V34570

VICTORIAN 9 karat rose gold Albertina
watch chain bracelet with each link faceted and etched with scallops, weight .71ozs, 8" long and 1/8"
wide, marked "9ct" on hook . This was once a man’s watch chain, remade in it’s
past to be worn as a bracelet. Similar pieces can be seen in the
1887 E. V. Roddin Catalogue.
View
#V34590







This elegant couple wears watch jewelry… his is a vest chain with fob and hers
is a slide chain.

FINE rolled plate vest watch chains.
1899 Benjamin Allen Catalogue

A lady wearing a slide chain and another lady wearing a ribbon watch
holder suspended from her pocket.




Ladies wearing watch chains and fobs at the neckline.

"Ladies solid gold Victoria watch chains."
1897 Sears Catalogue, page 413

Ladies wearing watch chains and fobs at the neckline.




VICTORIAN "Finest quality gold filled Wellington and pony vest
watch chains" with cameo and spinner fobs.
Sears Jewelry Catalogue, 1897 page 407.
S.F. Myers & Co. Jewelry Catalogue, circa 1878
White metal curb vest watch chains, solid silver chains.
Rope link, fancy link, double curb chains with swivels and hooks.
VEST silk fob watch holders and one metal one.
From the Benjamin Allen Catalogue 1899.




1923 Schwab Catalogue
Waldemar watch chains with a safety catch on one end and a swivel hook on the
other.

1923 Schwab Catalogue
Waldemar watch chains with a safety catch on one end and a swivel hook
on the other.

1923 Schwab Catalogue
Coat chains, which have a button on one end and a swivel hook on the other.


FOBS & LOCKETS






"FINE solid gold lockets… we can furnish any initials."
From the Benjamin Allen Catalogue 1899
GOLD TONE square fob locket with rhinestone engraved "ARN",
circa 1900.
View
View #Y22832
SOLID gold locket fobs.
From the Benjamin Allen Catalogue 1899







"Finest quality gold filled and sterling watch charms." These fobs
reflect the wearer’s sentimental attachments, interests, fraternal
organizations or careers. There are figural and locket fibs as well.
Sears Jewelry Catalogue, 1897 page 420

GOLD FILLED locket with navy and aqua enameling. #V22927

Locket watch fob. #V22932

"Fine quality gold filled watch charms and fobs."
Page 419
Sears Jewelry Catalogue, 1897
VICTORIAN gold
tone bracelet with watch fobs as charms.
View
#V17891 and #V22040




FINE rolled gold plate "Dickens" vest watch chains.
From Becken Catalogue 1902. As can be
seen above, a Dicken’s chain has a toggle for the buttonhole, a place for a
fob and a hook end and safety end for the watch and another charm, fob or
pocket knife.

VICTORIAN 9
carat 1-1/8" flip fob of banded agate and carnelian on a 16" chain.
View #V23421
GENTS and ladies fine silk fob watch chains.
From Becken Catalogue 1902

VICTORIAN gold
filled watch chain with fob
View #V17046




FINE rolled plate emblem fobs and charms.
From the Benjamin Allen Catalogue 1899.
VICTORIAN
Masonic 5/8" clock watch fob on 15" chain.
View #V17046
DIAMOND lockets, fobs and sleeve buttons.
From the Benjamin Allen Catalogue 1899.




VICTORIAN
pocket watch key with faceted carnelian top, 1-5/8" including loop.
#V28682

VICTORIAN Art Nouveau gold
tone fob chatelaine with graduated disks with lady faces motif, 4-5/8" with 5" chain.
View
View
#V28384


VICTORIAN
watch fob with lovely oval agates set in silver tone with a
gold tone swivel hook, total length 4" with each agate 1-1/8" by 7/8".

View
#V38448

REFERENCES:


A.
Bernhard & Co. Catalogue, 1870

Mourning Art & Jewelry by Maureen Delorme

In Death Lamented; the Tradition of
Anglo-American Mourning Jewelry
by Sarah Nehama,
a companion volume to the Fall Exhibit at the Massachusetts Historical
Society 2012

Art of Mourning

Morbid Outlook: Fashion History

Collectors Encyclopedia of Hairwork Jewelry
by
Jeanenne Bell