ARCHIVE - 1950s Chanel Lion Medallion Cable Chain Belt

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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)


Will you set anything aside for me before I come?

We are happy to find anything you may be interested in from our website - please let us know a week in advance. 

We also have an extensive offline collection. If you let us know your size, style, favourite colour to wear and perhaps your budget, we can browse through our archive in advance of your appointment. 

Do I need to bring anything with me?

Clients may wish to bring modern shapewear when trying on garments from certain eras, especially the 1950s. Vintage clothing was often worn with undergarments that shaped the waist and as such is tailored for them.

We have a huge variety of slip dresses and petticoats to complete your look; many of which are also for sale.

You may also wish to bring your favourite footwear. We often find a classic pair of nude shoes work well when trying on, or a pair in gold or silver.

Do you have a price range?

Many of our lower-priced pieces (under £150) are not available to buy online. Our prices range from £80 - £600 for separates. Dresses start at around £150 and go up to £2,500 for the very best antique pieces and designer vintage. Our bridalwear ranges from £300 - £3,000.

Can I bring anyone with me?

Yes but please do let us know the size of your party in advance.

Where can I get alterations?

We offer some alterations in house. Should you need alterations we cannot provide, we can refer you to one of our tried and trusted tailors.

Do you have an after-care service?

We will advise you on the best way to clean and preserve your vintage pieces and can also recommend trusted local dry cleaners.

Can I cancel my appointment?

You are free to cancel but please do give us as much notice as possible. If you cancel less than 24 hours before your appointment, you will be invoiced a late cancellation fee of £25.

Where's the showroom?

Our address is Circa Vintage, 87A Lansdowne Way London SW8 2PB

Upon arrival, buzz the 87A button on the gate or call us 020 7736 5038 to let you in.

Do you have parking?

We offer free, secure, off-street parking but it is a tight squeeze – so do let us know in advance if you will be needing this and we can make sure that there is space available.

How do I get there by public transport?


Stockwell (7 min walk) - Northern and Victoria Lines

Nine Elms (9 min walk) – Northern Line


Wandsworth Road (13 min walk) – Westbound to Clapham Junction / Eastbound to Dalston Junction

What payment methods do you accept?

Cash, credit/debit card, bank transfer, contactless, Paypal