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Drexel’s Chatelaine Watch from The Drexel Collection Goes on Exhibit in New York and Paris

May 23, 2012

chatelaine watch

Drexel’s chatelaine watch from The Drexel Collection will be on loan to the exhibition Gold, Jasper, and Carnelian: Johann Christian Neuber at the Saxon Court at the Frick Collection in New York from May 29 – August 19 and in Paris at Galerie Kugel from September 13 – November 10, 2012.

The chatelaine was designed by the Dresden craftsman Johann Christian Neuber and is decorated with precious and semiprecious stones. It dates back to c. 1780 and was given to The Drexel Collection in 1892 by George W. Childs, a close friend of Anthony J. Drexel.

A chatelaine is a worn by a woman at the waist as a decorative belt hook or clasp with a series of suspended fobs. In keeping with the work of Johann Christian Neuber, this chatelaine is inlaid with gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian relief, agate and jade. Four pendants with links indicating virtues descend from the upper portion of the chatelaine. At the bottom of the fobs is a smoky quartz gem, key to the watch, cloudy sardonyx and bright carnelian. The central fob is a watch with diamond- set hands by the Dresden watchmaker, Hoendschker. Neuber has decorated the watch with turquoise forget-me-nots and pearls.

Anthony J. Drexel noted in his accession book that the chatelaine watch supposedly belonged to Queen Marie Antoinette.