This is an incredibly early and rare 1950s Chanel Haute Couture lion medallion chain belt. It is one of the earliest we have seen and is a documented Robert Goossens design. It is much more simple in style than later Chanel belts. It is made of a gilt double row round cable chain that is affixed at one end with a large stylish shepherds hook. The other end is finished with the famous and early Chanel lion design which is featured on both sides of the hanging medallion. Chanel was a Leo and was very interested in horoscopes and star signs. The hook can be attached to the links that hold the medallion onto the chain or alternatively, threaded through the double chain of the belt so it is versatile. It also makes it flexible in terms of sizing as this can be placed on any of the links.
Condition wise this piece is very good. The gold plating on the lion is very much intact with no chips and is cleaner than our photos suggest as we have further removed some of the black marks. On the chain, much of the gold has rubbed off with wear over the years and this has revealed the brass base metal underneath which still has charm. Early Chanel pieces like this are very rare and are notoriously difficult to attribute as all jewellery manufactured was designed to complement Chanel's haute couture collections and was seldom marked. The iconic double CC emblem did not arrive until the 1980s when Karl Lagerfeld and Victoire de Castellane took the creative helm and revived the House. This piece was purchased at a very famous Parisian auction house many years ago and was verified as Chanel at the time. Robert Goossens featured this lion on much of his work for the House and the hook is in keeping with earlier designs by him. After a long hiatus in Switzerland after WWII, Chanel re-opened her Paris salon in 1954 and we estimate this piece to be just a few years from this date.
WIDTH - 1.2 in (3 cm)
DEPTH - 1 in (2.5 cm)
LENGTH OF CHAIN - 39.4 in (100 cm)
1950s Chanel Lion Medallion Cable Chain Belt
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