A large flamboyant belt buckle dating to the early to mid 1800s. The buckle is rendered in "Pinchbeck", a bright yellow metal alloy of copper and zinc, mixed in proportions so that it closely resembled the high carat gold of the era.
Invented in the 18th century by Christopher Pinchbeck, a London clockmaker, it soon became the material of choice for affordable jewelry and it was particularly popular worn for stagecoach travel when the risk of highway robbery was a real possibility!
Pinchbeck proved to be a short lived fad and by the late Victorian era it was deemed tawdry and fell out of favour. Today, due to its comparative rarity, Pinchbeck jewelry has become highly sought after in it's own right.
This is a very wide buckle for wear on the high waisted dresses that were very fashionable at the time. Elaborate and beautifully detailed it is designed in the French rococo style, the frame is decorated with winged lions, flowers and ornate scrollwork. The buckle is gently curved and a central hinged bar holds the extra long prong.
Solidly constructed and fairly heavy the Pinchbeck still retains its original appearance with a bright golden luster, no evidence of pitting and very little tarnish. A fabulous all original and rare antique buckle, desirable to the collector, the fashion historian and the costumier alike.
MATERIALS: Pinchbeck metal alloy
MEASUREMENTS: 5" across, 2-3/8" high (125x60mm)
WEIGHT: 57 grams
DATE: Circa 1830, late Georgian, early Victorian
CONDITION: Excellent with expected signs of age but no real wear or flaws. The hinged bar and prong are in perfect working order.
At Mercy Madge we offer distinctive and unique estate jewelry in our beautifully curated shop. Each piece is carefully hand selected by us, for you. We rarely come across two identical old treasures, once they are gone, they are truly gone!
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