The Chatelaine

Another Saturday, another musing from me!  I think I’ve mentioned this before, but sometimes I have ideas that roll around my brain for years.  Lately I’ve been thinking about Chatelaines.  What’s that, you say?  A chatelaine was traditionally a way to cart around everyday useful items, like keys, scissors, etc. without weighing down a pocket.  They could be quite decorative, and they were usually attached to a pocket or a belt. They were worn by both men and women, but I most often think of them worn by women, as they were frequently worn by the woman of the house, or a housekeeper. You can read a bit more about them here.

My fascination with them began a number of years ago, when I saw this one:

I love the intricate details, it was amazing to view in person.

In fact, it’s been so long that I had to look it up to figure out if it was from the Victoria and Albert Museum (UK) or one of the other UK museums I’ve visited many times.  It was the Victoria and Albert. In fact, you can view many other examples from their archive here

So, I’ve been thinking about what a more modern chatelaine might carry.  Not surprisingly, probably not that many differences to what you can see in historical examples for everyday use.  How about as a goldsmith?  That’s a bit of an interesting question… for me, maybe a notebook and pencil (for when inspiration strikes), keys, a scribe (a kind of pen for metal), small files, scissors, tweezers, all things that are handy for a goldsmith, but still all kind of pedestrian  really.

No, what I’ve really been thinking about is what the modern immunologist’s chatelaine would look like, which is more conceptual really (and fits in with my background and some of my interests).  So, scissors (what aren’t those useful for???), but my scissors might be molecular scissorsT cells, B cells and macrophages would be a must, antibodies and plasmids are always useful too!  Not sure what else, I shall have to think some more.

Yes, my skills at doodling are nothing to write home about, but anyway, here’s a quick impression of what MY chatelaine might look like in my brain!

If you were making your own chatelaine, what would you put on it? 

Happy Saturday from the Blue House in Roncy!


House of Cassady