Following fashion throughout several centuries, a châtelaine was a beloved lady’s accessory especially popular between the 17th to early 19th century.


From the French word “Lady of the castle”, a châtelaine was a belt hook, worn by the lady of the chateau, from which hung the keys to all the doors.



Since women’s clothing of the time did not include pockets, over time, a chatelaine became a innovative accessory from which hung small but necessary objects such as keys, a vinaigrette, scissors, pomanders and a little notebook with a retractible pencil.

Chatelaines were a useful piece of jewelry, which is considered by many to be the predecessor of a lady’s handbag.




It is the minuscule pencils that always fascinate me.

Every designer, artist, writer, blogger, teacher, dreamer needs one of these!



Like magic wands, there is so much history in one simple, little piece of jewelry. 


Wear the history and charm of the late 19th century, and that of the early 1900’s. Each one is a one-of-a-kind reminder of genteel, romantic times of long ago.

Aren’t they glorious?



While I’m away at market sourcing decorative treats to make all of us happy for Spring and Easter, I’m thrilled to share these beauties with all of you!  Each one has a storied past…fine quality {sterling silver, gold and gold fill} and plenty of personality.


Take this gold fill pencil, below, set with the turquoise stones. Can you just imagine what kind of secret tiny missives a lady penned with this little pencil? A hastily torn off note, passed on the main street in town, perhaps.

Meet me in the park tomorrow. {For those young ladies whose parents strictly forbade outings with dapper young men, and watched the “real” mail like a hawk.}




They truly are magical, aren’t they?

So so tiny, most are under two inches.

It’s a wonder that anyone could write with them, now they make such an interesting necklace, in a good way.  {I have a friend who always utters “interesting” when she doesn’t really like something that another friend asks if she likes! This is NOT that kind of interesting, if you know what I mean. Bless her heart. }





Together with the antique seals and watch fob jewelry, they are the perfect gift for a birthday, a graduation, or Valentine’s Day, don’t you think?

There are still more antique necklaces and bracelets coming to FrenchGardenHouse in the next few weeks. For all of you jewelry lovers.

I hope you are having a glorious week so far!

à bientôt,