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

Shoe Buckle

ca. 1780s (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.

This buckle is one of a pair, with Museum no. M.33A-1909.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver, steel prong
Brief Description
Silver with steel prong, (one of a pair), Birmingham, about 1780-1790, mark of Thomas Willmore.
Physical Description
Shoe buckle (one of a pair), silver with steel prong, four sided wavy shape, decorated with an openwork design with an interlacing ribbon and rosette rim.
Dimensions
  • Length: 6.09cm
  • Width: 5.15cm
  • Depth: 1.81cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • Incomplete hallmarks, lion passant only
  • Mark of TW for Thomas Willmore, Birmingham.
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.



This buckle is one of a pair, with Museum no. M.33A-1909.
Associated Object
Collection
Accession Number
M.33-1909

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record createdJune 9, 2005
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