Pair of Shoe Buckles thumbnail 1
Pair of Shoe Buckles thumbnail 2
+2
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

This object consists of 2 parts, some of which may be located elsewhere.

Pair of Shoe Buckles

ca. 1770-ca. 1780 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Gold or silver buckles for shoes were in fashion for most of the 18th century. They gave the finishing touches to elegant dress and were one of the few pieces of jewellery worn by men as well as women. Gentlemen wore matching shoe and knee buckles.

Making buckles became a highly skilled craft at which English silversmiths and jewellers excelled. Exquisitely wrought designs, glittering pastes and precious stones reflected the status of the wearer as well as the occasion. Cheaper and plainer versions were made of steel, brass and other metal alloys.

By 1790 shoe buckles were falling out of use, except as part of ceremonial or court dress.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Buckle
  • Buckle
Materials and Techniques
Stamped gold on brass, steel prong
Brief Description
Pair of shoe buckles, stamped gold on brass, steel prongs, England, about 1770-80
Physical Description
Pair of shoe buckles stamped gold on a foundation of brass, steel prongs. Four sided wavy shape, a reeded band of flowers and leaves worked in relief at intervals.
Dimensions
  • Height: 6.43cm
  • Width: 4.95cm
  • Depth: 1.73cm
Marks and Inscriptions
No marks
Subjects depicted
Summary
Gold or silver buckles for shoes were in fashion for most of the 18th century. They gave the finishing touches to elegant dress and were one of the few pieces of jewellery worn by men as well as women. Gentlemen wore matching shoe and knee buckles.



Making buckles became a highly skilled craft at which English silversmiths and jewellers excelled. Exquisitely wrought designs, glittering pastes and precious stones reflected the status of the wearer as well as the occasion. Cheaper and plainer versions were made of steel, brass and other metal alloys.



By 1790 shoe buckles were falling out of use, except as part of ceremonial or court dress.
Collection
Accession Number
M.37&A-1909

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record createdJune 9, 2005
Record URL