Ropes of Gold : The Essential Antique Muff Chain, 159cm / 62.5″
A staple of every antique jewellery collector is the muff or long guard chain – you only need one but it needs to be the right one. These extra-long chains are incredibly versatile and can be worn in a multitude of ways. They are perfect for layering and can support several charms with the addition of a split-ring or three.
The most sought after muff chains are super long, light and solid gold, which is what we have here. It’s sturdy yet lightweight thanks to the durable 9ct gold. The extra, extra long lends itself to an infinite number of styling options – as either a necklace or a bracelet. Originally this chain was worn around the neck and through a fur muff (fancy hand warmer), enabling the muff-wearer to remove her hands from the muff but not drop her beautiful and practical hand warmer. Today it’s the perfect chain to hang your favourite fob (or fob collection!) or mix it up with pendants and charms from across all eras.
The reeded solid gold links of this chain are in excellent antique condition. The chain does show signs of gentle wear, which is to be expected in a piece of very useful antique jewellery, but has another 100+ years of stylish wear in her. Another unusual aspect of this gorgeous chain is its gold content – it is stamped as 9ct gold but tests closer to 10ct and looks like 18ct. I suspect that the solid 9ct gold links have been plated with 18ct gold to make a super strong chain that looks like it’s made of a much softer higher carat gold. Gilding solid gold was a common practice during the Victorian era.
Chains of this length and condition are difficult to come by – this is a rare survivor from a time long passed.
This listing is for the chain only and does not include any of the pendants photographed – they are examples of styling possibilities.