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Pair of shoe buckles

Pair of shoe buckles

  • Place of origin:

    France (possibly, made)
    Great Britain (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1750-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Metal set with pastes

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, Room 40, case CA1 []

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. They came in different shapes

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. Buckles came in oval, rectangular and square designs. They could be gold or silver, plain or elaborately decorated using clear or coloured stones, precious and semi-precious and paste. 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 metal shoe buckles, square with pierced work border and set with interlaced bands of pastes. A large paste is set at each corner and in the centre of each side.

Place of Origin

France (possibly, made)
Great Britain (possibly, made)


1750-1800 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Metal set with pastes


Width: 5.1 cm, Length: 5.3 cm

Descriptive line

Pair of metal shoe buckles, possibly made in France or Great Britain, 1750-1800


Metal; Paste gems


Footwear; Clothing; Fashion; Accessories; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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