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