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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1780-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Josiah Wedgwood and Sons (makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cut steel set with a jasperware plaque

  • Credit Line:

    Pfungst Reavil Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 14, shelf B, box 8

Cut steel was a fashionable material for jewellery, buttons, buckles, sword hilts and watch chains in the decades around 1800. They were made from brightly polished rivets, their ends faceted to imitate diamonds. Such pieces gave a grey but powerful glitter. Originally an English speciality, the production of cut steel had spread to other centres in Europe by the early 19th century. The Birmingham manufacturer Matthew Boulton pioneered the attractive combination of cut steel with the blue and white jasperware plaques made by Wedgwood.

Physical description

Button, cut steel frame, set with a jasper plaque, showing the signs of the Zodiac. The plaque made in the factory of Josiah Wedgwood (1730-95), the setting possibly by Matthew Boulton (1728-1809).

Place of Origin

England (made)


1780-1800 (made)


Josiah Wedgwood and Sons (makers)

Materials and Techniques

Cut steel set with a jasperware plaque


Diameter: 4.4 cm, Depth: 1.3 cm

Descriptive line

Button, cut steel frame, set with a jasper plaque showing the signs of the Zodiac, made in England, about 1780-1800

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Stemp, Sinty, "Ornamental or Useful: A Cut Steel Chatelaine by Boulton and Wedgwood", The Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, Vol. 17, June 2009, ISSN. 1359124X, p. 10, ill.


Steel; Jasper ware

Subjects depicted

Pisces symbols; Libra; Goats; Aquarius; Urns; Scorpion; Figures; Scales; Centaurs; Sagittarius; Fish; Scorpio; Zodiac signs; Capricorn


Jewellery; Fashion; Myths & Legends; Metalwork; Accessories; Europeana Fashion Project


Metalwork Collection

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