Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Shoe buckles

probably American
metal, silk
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Brooklyn Museum Collection
Accession Number:
2009.300.1645a, b
Not on view
Shoe buckles have been worn since medieval times, as both a functional and decorative object. The cloth latchets on shoes were drawn through the buckles to keep the shoe tight over the instep, so while they served a functional purpose in that respect, many buckles, such as this pair, were decorative as well. Showing particularly ornate detail, this pair of buckles depicts a little boy dressed in early to mid-nineteenth century attire and a girl in a less definable chemise. The care taken to carve the metal with such detail shows a high level of quality, design and workmanship.
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