Cut Steel & Mother Of Pearl Shoe Buckle Antique Georgian c1830.
A beautiful antique shoe buckle dating from the first half of the 19th century, the Georgian era. Buckled shoes began to replace tied shoes in the mid-17th century. Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary for 22 January 1660 "This day I began to put on buckles to my shoes, which I have bought yesterday of Mr. Wotton." The fashion at first remained uncommon enough though that even in 1693 a writer to a newspaper complained of the new fashion of buckles replacing ribbons for fastening shoes and knee bands. Separate buckles remained fashionable until they were abandoned along with high-heeled footwear and other aristocratic fashions in the years after the French revolution, although they were retained as part of ceremonial and court dress until well into the 20th century. In Britain in 1791 an attempt was made by buckle manufactures to stop change in fashion by appealing to the then Prince of Wales Prince George. While the prince did start to require them for his court this didn't stop the decline of the shoe buckle. It has been suggested that the decline drove the manufacturers of steel buckles to diversify into producing a range of cut steel jewellery. This buckle is a typical example of a buckle from the period. Beautiful, highly fashionable and desirable mother of pearl finished with lovely riveted cut steel. Cut steel was incredibly popular, the idea being that it would sparkle like diamonds when polished up well. The shoe buckle is a little mis-shapen, but items were often made like this in the Georgian era. No cracks to the mother of pearl and all rivets holding the cut steel 'gems' are present.
Size 5.2 x 5.4 x 0.2 cm or 2.0 x 2.1 x 0.1 inches.
Weight 13.5 grams or 8.7 penny weight.