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French Silver Combination Pomander & Seal on Long Guard Chain, Mystery Mark & Age?

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Fine Jewelry122 of 8192Antique Russian Ring: Makers Mark UnknownAntique wax seal stamp made from Mother pearl.
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    Posted 3 months ago

    kiwipaul
    (117 items)

    This is a very unusual thing. It is a pomander (open-work perfume container) that also doubles as a wax seal, although the bloodstone seal at the end has never been engraved.

    The pomander is in the shape of a handle about 5cm high so it would work as a desk seal, but it also has a loop and hangs from a very cool Gothic style silver and gold long guard chain about 150cm long.

    The detail on the pomander is amazing. The open-work is in the form of a trellis with a plant and flowers growing up it, probably representing a climbing rose, in keeping with the purpose of the item, to provide a pleasant smell.

    The opening top has decorative Gothic details, shaped a bit like fleur de lys, with an acanthus border.

    The pomander has a tiny French boar's head mark for 800 silver and is stamped in three places with the French maker's mark shown in the last pic.

    I am guessing this may be part of a chatelaine, circa mid C19th (Second Empire under Napoleon III, 1852–70) when a long guard chain would be worn at the waist by the lady of the house keeping the essential keys and seals needed to run the household, along with some miniature personal utensils, which could have included a pomander. However I've never heard of a combination pomander and seal, although what a practical idea.

    If anyone has seen anything like this or can identify the mark, I'd love to know.

    Unsolved Mystery

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    Comments

    1. Agram.m Agram.m, 3 months ago
      What a beautiful and interesting piece, wondereful!
    2. truthordare truthordare, 3 months ago
      Seems to be another mark on the goldish ring that attaches the chain to the pomander, can you decipher it? 3rd image has a good view of it.
    3. kiwipaul kiwipaul, 3 months ago
      Hi truthordare, well spotted however unfortunately that ring connecting the dog clip to the chain is one I added out of my parts box, it is not original to the chain or pomander, thanks for your comment, cheers Paul
    4. truthordare truthordare, 3 months ago
      Thanks Paul, this means they were not attached together but came separately?

      I had a gut feeling that the pomander was a different maker than the chain. Something about the chain looks Italian to me, such as Perizzi.

      I wonder what the clasp was like to wear it as a chatelaine belt, as you know, they had several dangling accessories, some quite intricate and beautiful. Thanks for posting such a wonderful and interesting item.

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