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Etui, French for "case". A small ornamented case fitted with miniature implements for a woman's daily use, such as scissors, bodkins, needles, thimble, a tiny knife, pencil, ivory writing-tablet, etc. The cases were variously shaped, delicately decorated with enamels, and richly mounted with gilt hinges and collars.
Porcelain examples were sometimes made in fantasy shapes, e.g. a maiden's leg with stocking, shoe, and garter, a lady's arm with sleeve, cuff, and ringed finger, a stick of asparagus or broccoli. They were also made in gold, silver, and pinchbeck.
Some were worn suspended from a chatelaine by loops of silken cord or chain attached to the cover. They were worn in the 17th-19th centuries. A heavier version was also used by a man, for a watch, watch key, keys, and seals.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson