Shoe Buckle thumbnail 1
Shoe Buckle thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Shoe Buckle

1811-1812 (hallmarked)
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. Gentlemen wore matching shoe and knee buckles. 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.418-1911.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver and steel
Brief Description
Shoe buckle, silver with steel, spring mechanism, London hallmarks for 1811-1812, mark of James Atkins with a spring clip chape patented by William Eley in 1784.
Physical Description
Shoe buckle, (one of a pair), silver with steel mechanism, rectangular, decorated with a stylised anthemion rim. Fitted with a spring clip shape of a type patented by William Eley in 1784.
Dimensions
  • Length: 5.81cm
  • Width: 4.27cm
  • Depth: 1.52cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'JA' stamped twice (Maker's mark perhaps for James Atkins)
  • Sterling standard mark, date letter for London 1811-12
  • Stamped on the back of the spring clip chape patented by William Eley
  • "RIGHT" stamped on the bottom of the spring clip chape.
Credit line
Given by Miss Jane Souter Hipkins
Object history
Maker's mark, 'JA', perhaps for James Atkins, London (Grimwade's Buckle makers' list). Spring clip shape patented by William Eley in 1784.
Production
Spring clip shape patented by William Eley in 1784.
Subject 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. Gentlemen wore matching shoe and knee buckles. 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.418-1911.
Associated Object
Collection
Accession Number
M.418A-1911

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record createdApril 5, 2006
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