This blog entry was supposed to be about the many chains and cords for horse pendants that we sell. But as we were putting that entry together, we were reminded of this amazing Victorian Silver Book Chain Collar necklace and how could we not talk about that instead?
Fans of vintage horse jewelry might be familiar with book chains, but not everyone is. Here’s the 411 on this popular style:
Book chain style necklaces are link necklaces, with each individual link shaped (rather stylistically) like a book. We first see this design during the Victorian era, and it remained popular through the Edwardian period. Lovers of Art Deco jewelry might recognize the book chain style – it was very popular during the 30’s & 40’s Victorian revival.
The book chain delivers substantial elegance. During the Victorian era, when this style came into vogue, the jewelry was competing with a lot of over-the-top detailing and embellishment in everyday fashion. However, when you pair the bold style of the book chain with today’s simpler fashions, you really see this design in all of its glory.
Here’s a 1895 ornate silver book chain collar necklace. It’s 16″ long and 3/8ths of an inch wide, made in England, and hallmarked. This is a necklace that works well as a signature piece of jewelry or worn on special occasions when you want to look remarkable. It’s truly a magnificent piece of fine horse jewelry.
Pair this chain with your favorite horse locket, silver horse charm, or drop pendant.
Here is an Australian poem from a time when this style was contemporary. It’s written by a soldier to the warhorse that stood by him through thick and thin:
Old Horse O’ Mine
Hoof-beats that rang on the crowded street,
Had never beat unto me
All the wealth of the gold in your old black hide,
All the grit of you loyalty;
But deep in the sand of a lonely land,
Out on many a far flung trail,
Your old hoofs spoke of a heart you broke
For me, that you might not fail.
Great eyes, that dusked in the green gums’ wave,
Though I recked not that you were there,
That danced or dulled at the whim mayhap
Of a fancy unaware –
How the mateship grew in the depths of you,
When the waste spread its gauntness wide.
How you parched with me, how you marched with me,
Through that Hell of a thirst denied.
Brave Soul that sprung in the colt of you,
Unguessed in the years far back,
Ere your Fate ran out from a land of streams
To the drought of a sun-blazed track –
For the days since seen, for the pals we’ve been,
When Old Time sees us through –
O! If then there be for the likes o’ me,
A Heav,n – it must hold you too.