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Pair of buckles

  • Place of origin:

    Europe (west, made)

  • Date:

    1666-1699 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Enamelled gold

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dame Joan Evans

  • Museum number:

    M.96&A-1975

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 14, shelf C, box 2 []

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, with exquisitely wrought designs, glittering pastes and precious stones that 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.

Physical description

Pair of buckles, gold, decorated with enamel. At the upper and lower mid points of the buckles are two chased scallop shells. Around them is a narrow, scrolling, matted border. From these emerge in both directions scrolls with beading on the curves. From all four of these emerge four more scrolls. A small lambrequin-like motif of matted gold completes the rounded oblong. The scrolls are enamelled dark green.

Place of Origin

Europe (west, made)

Date

1666-1699 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Enamelled gold

Marks and inscriptions

No marks

Descriptive line

Enamelled gold, no marks, Western Europe, 1666-1699

Materials

Gold; Enamel

Techniques

Enamelling

Subjects depicted

Scallop shell

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Fashion; Footwear; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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