An exquisite antique Art Nouveau French .800 silver chain mail mesh lady's chatelaine coin purse. A charming piece, the thick framework features finely detailed embossing depicting a salamander or lizard. Portrayed on a brick or stone layered background with rose accent. The lizard is beautifully posed, its tail trailing down the side of the frame and its head turned back to gaze at an insect. Having a kiss-lock closure and opening to reveal a hinged interior divider. The purse is of fine quality chain mail mesh, finished with four ball tassels. A loop ring on the frame allows for the purse to be suspended from a lady's chatelaine belt or a chain. Marked with the French head of the wild boar, in use from 1838 to indicate a silver content of .800/1000. Stamped Depose. Maker's mark for silversmith Alphonse Debain, 1883-1911, whose workshop was located at 79 rue du Temple, Paris. In good condition. Measures 2 1/4" across the frame x 2 3/4" length. Weighs 30 grams.
These silver chain mail link purses were a necessary fashion accessory during the Victorian era and fashionable well into the early 1900's / Edwardian. A lady could stow a nice amount of coin money for errands and light shopping. Today, they are great accessories for weddings, parties, and evenings out. The silver chain mail is easy to match and these purses were so beautifully crafted by skilled silversmiths. A charming wedding gift or choice as a bride's "something old." And for doll collectors, these smaller size purses make lovely decorative objects for accessorizing dolls.