Love Links : Victorian Sterling Book Chain Collar

Victorian book chain necklaces are an excellent example of antique jewellery that manages to look completely contemporary. The fabulously chunky links are very chic and edgy, no lace doilies here! The book chain design emerged during the latter part of the Early Victorian Era, or Romantic Period (1837 to 1860) and was worn at that time with a large locket at the front. The locket may no longer be the cat’s pyjamas, but the chunky chain definitely is! I believe this necklace may be a later example, as the hand-engraved floral links strongly hint at the ideas and motifs that were popular during the Aesthetic Movement (also during the Victorian Era, old Vicky reigned for a really long time) of the 1870’s and 1880s.

This example is a little different from any others I’ve seen in that each of the engraved links features an entirely different hand-engraved floral pattern: every one corresponding to a plant of flower with a coded sentimental message in the Victorian Era “language of flowers” (also known as Floriography). Some of the flora represented include:
ivy – for fidelity
acanthus – for endurance
pansy – meaning “think of me”
lily – purity and sweetness
periwinkle – nostalgia
pop them all in a line and you have a necklace of links describing the perfect love story 💕

The necklace weighs in at hefty 39 grams – you definitely know you’re wearing it. It measures 43cm long, including the clasp (that’s 16.9 inches). Due to the weight of the finely handcrafted links it finds its perfect place to sit on your collarbones and stays there, moulded to your contours. It feels majestically regal, and seriously badass. It is not hallmarked, but has been XRF tested to confirm it is sterling silver throughout. The clasp is a replacement modern reproduction as the original clasp was missing when I found it. The advantage of having a new clasp is that the spring is very snappy, no worries about performance on that score. You can add your own silver locket or pendant to the clasp, or wear it with the clasp at the back as I have in the photo.

Description

A Victorian Era circa 1860 book chain collar necklace, handmade in sterling silver with uniquely hand-engraved floral links.

The necklace measures 43 cm long (16.9″). The round links are 13mm high x 13mm wide & 3.3mm deep. The square links are 12mm high including the silver bobbles, and 13mm wide. The necklace weighs 39 grams.

It will arrive in a gorgeous green velvet presentation box.

Additional information

Era

Victorian
circa 1860 – 1880

Metal

Sterling Silver
unmarked but verified by XRF test

Dimensions

43cm long, including the clasp
weighs approximately 39 grams