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Longuard Chain

Antique and Vintage Longuard Chains for Sale

longuard chains for sale
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Longuard Chain Frequently Asked Questions

A longuard chain, also known as a guard chain, is a long chain that was popularised during the Victorian era as a means to carry practical objects such as keys or more elaborate pieces such as pocket watches and pendants. The long, continuous loop chain is considered to be one of the most versatile pieces of jewellery one could hope to own. An antique longuard chain is often between 40 to 60 inches with a swivel catch, bolt ring or split ring, making it easy to double around the neck or fold into a pocket.

Since the 1800s, longuard chains have been worn draped across the shoulders and bodices of women. Traditionally used to carry watches and vinaigrettes, the chains were additionally known as ‘guard chains’. The chain peaked popularity during the Victorian era, becoming thinner to adjust to being worn around the neck. Depending on their use, the longuard chain is referred to as a variety of names and purposes. Other variations include lorgnette chain when carrying lorgnettes or ‘watch chain’ when carrying a watch. Some may class the muff chain within this category due to its long length, this would be used to pass through fur muffs to keep Victorian women’s hands warm. Variations in style and decoration can be seen as the watch style is adjusted over time for different purposes.

Traditionally very long, the longuard chain can also appear as a shorter version. Historically guard chains of a family matriarch would be split among daughters after their passing, resulting in shorter, modified antique longuard chains we find today.

Longuard chains have been worn a variety of ways over time. In terms of styling a longuard chain for modern day use, antique lockets and pendants make great pairings. Longer chains can be looped multiple times in a variety of styles so try layering the loops to have a choker and two longer chains or a similar style.

Alternatively, if necklaces don’t appeal, accessorise your waist band by draping your chain across your trouser pockets and belt loops for a high fashion twist on the traditional Albert chain look. Add your keys and anything else you desire to enhance your look, or experiment by wearing the chain with other accessories or wrapped multiple times around the wrist for a stacked style.

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