Antique Slide Chains: What are They & How to Wear Them

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Antique Slide Chains: What are They & How to Wear Them

Shop our available chains here!

We often get asked about slide chains and how to wear them. These beautiful pieces are often overlooked by shoppers and we’re here to explain why you need one in your jewelry box.

  Antique jewelry catalogue //    Maejean Vintage    personal photo

Antique jewelry catalogue // Maejean Vintage personal photo

Slide chains, also called muff chains, lorgnette chains, guard chains and locket chains, have not changed much stylistically over time. However, they’ve held many purposes, and their purposes reflect the trends of the era. Chains can be found in fine metals such as solid gold, gold fill, silver but also in Pinchbeck. The use of various metals likely made them widely accessible to women across all classes.


  Edwardian woman wearing a slide chain with a locket // Maejean Vintage personal photo

Edwardian woman wearing a slide chain with a locket // Maejean Vintage personal photo

Slide chains were designed to hold pocket watches, which were then tucked in dress pockets or dangled from waist belts. They also could have been layered, or doubled-over, to hold a locket near the heart. Slide chains were also used as muff chains, holding up a fur muff on cold winter nights. 

  Slide    Chain    & Pocket Watch // Muff    Chain

Slide Chain & Pocket Watch // Muff Chain

Today you can style them as a choker with a long layer, double them up for the look of two necklaces, or as one MJV customer suggested, use them for your ID card (here’s to you nurses, teachers and students)!

   Madame Marcotte Sainte Marie    wearing a lorgnette chain &    Madame Jacques-Louis Leblanc    wearing a locket chain // Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Madame Marcotte Sainte Marie wearing a lorgnette chain & Madame Jacques-Louis Leblanc wearing a locket chain // Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

  Antique jewelry catalogue // Maejean Vintage personal archive

Antique jewelry catalogue // Maejean Vintage personal archive

The versatility of silde chains likely made them popular, as they could be worn long or short. We speculate a woman with a more sedentary lifestyle may have worn the chain long, while a middle-class woman who held a job may have doubled the chain to still be fashionable but more practical.

Regardless of your job today, we think slide chains are some of the more underrated jewelry pieces and can be brought into the modern times. Scroll down to see how we have styled the chains.



  Antique jewelry catalogue // Maejean Vintage personal archive

Antique jewelry catalogue // Maejean Vintage personal archive


Maejean style tips:

  Layered with a locket and a pendant  Chain, locket and pendant coming soon

Layered with a locket and a pendant
Chain, locket and pendant coming soon

  Wrapped as a bracelet  Shop this chain  here

Wrapped as a bracelet
Shop this chain here

  Doubled  Shop this chain  here

Doubled
Shop this chain here

  Worn as a single chain with a fob on the end  Shop this chain  here

Worn as a single chain with a fob on the end
Shop this chain here

  Tripled as a choker  Shop this chain  here

Tripled as a choker
Shop this chain here

Let us know your thoughts or ideas you have on how to wear a slide chain to suit your life!


xo.
Savannah Tate

Symbolism of Star & Moon Motifs in Antique Jewelry

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       Modern day jewelry often feels far less meaningful than the intimate designs of the past. Star and moon pieces seem to be all the rage today - but really, celestial jewelry has been “in” for a long time. Have you ever wondered why these pieces are popular other than because they have pretty features?

     Jewelry has often held deeper meaning beyond the surface image, its own language of sorts. Sentimental jewelry gained popularity in the 1800’s during the reign of Queen Victoria. From the time she took the throne 1819 (to 1901) until long after her death, her youthful vitality and impeccable fashion sense have been heralded as the creme de la creme. Can you imagine receiving a snake ring as your engagement ring? Well, Queen V received one from Albert - which goes to show how deep the language of jewelry was.
 I NEVER, NEVER spent such an evening!!! MY DEAREST
 DEAREST DEAR Albert ... his excessive love & affection
gave me feelings of heavenly love & happiness I never
       could have hoped to have felt before! He clasped me in his

        arms, & we kissed each other again & again! His beauty, his
      sweetness & gentleness – really how can I ever be thankful
    enough to have such a Husband! ... to be called by names

    of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before –
    was bliss beyond belief! Oh! This was the happiest day of
               my life!

       Another admirable fact about Victoria was her deep love for her husband, Albert. It is likely that the couple’s deep affection for each other, which was known by the public, had something to do with the sentimentality of the time. Unfortunately, Albert died at the age of 42 and it is well known that Victoria mourned the death of her loved one for the rest of her life which prompted the fashion trend of mourning jewelry (we’ll cover that another time).
                "My dreadful and overwhelming calamity gives me so much to do, that I
    must henceforth merely keep notes of my sad and solitary life."


       The crescent moon was widely popular during the Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian Eras. The slender moons are said to represent the feminine moon goddess and female empowerment but also they are believed to represent change as a moon has multiple lunar phases. It is important to remember that the Industrial Revolution was happening at this time, and women were beginning to enter the workforce, thus the roots were being laid for modern day female empowerment and rights.

       Lang Antiques sums up the feeling of the Victorian era wonderfully:
                The years of her [Queen Victoria] reign were some of the most progressive
in our history. Horse-drawn carriages were replaced by automobiles; candles
gave way to electricity, and toilets were brought inside! This was a generally
an optimistic and prosperous time characterized by rapid changes is
industry, science, art and fashion.


       Furthermore, it is believed that if a star is accompanying a moon the piece represents “I love you to the moon and back.” Honeymoon brooches were popular accessories for Victorian brides. These brooches featured moons, stars and typically flowers, too. Another belief of stars is that the stars provide guidance to the wearer.

Star and moon pieces are some of our favorite pieces, and are highly sought after. What are some of your favorite pieces? Let us know in the comments about a motif or time period you’d like us to write about next!

 Antique Moon  Pendant  from our Etsy Shop $290   

Antique Moon Pendant from our Etsy Shop $290

 

 An advertisement from 1909 for a star & moon locket!

An advertisement from 1909 for a star & moon locket!

 

Vintage Love,

Savannah

 

 

* shop all our star & moon motif jewels here!