Oh, I know you're disappointed this post isn't about sexy, be-wigged gentlemen on the 18th century. It's about the kind of bling a man would have worn on his shoes (shoes, of course!)
Or rather, bling a man *did* wear on his shoes.
I snagged another epic Georgian shoe buckle on eBay, a gorgeous steel and paste stone piece I thought would be splendid to use as a prototype for a new rhinestone buckle in le shoppe.
When it arrive, I was really surprised at how friggin' HUGE it was! Oh sure, it fits the American Duchess shoes, but the thing is MASSIVE!
That's because this was a man's buckle of the first half of the 18th century. How can you tell? Men's buckles, as we see, are large, and rather flat. Whereas the curve over the top of the foot for a ladies', or gentleman of small foot, is rather pronounced, for a large man's buckle, the top of the foot is much broader, and thus the curve far less pronounced.
Buckles came into fashion in the 17th century, and like everything else during this ostentatious period, were meant to make a big statement. We start to see buckles shrink in size (though remain just as blingy in design) in the second half of the 18th century, as tastes moved away from the over-the-top Rococo, to a more Classical aesthetic. Edit: Sharon noted in the comments below that men's buckles get quite large again near the end of the 18th century, and it does appear so when searching the Met and V&A examples. So these could be early, they could be late - any ideas on other means of dating them?
|The antique on th left, and Fleur buckles from le shoppe on the right. What a difference!|