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Title Pair of silver shoe buckles by William Eley
Nationality British
Period c 1786-96
Price £300.00

This is a classic pair of Artois-style buckles from the end of the American Wars, but probably pre-dating the French Revolution of 1789. Eley (worked from 1770, died in 1824) of Clerkenwell Green, London, a silversmith, was the king of 18th-century bucklemakers and the inventor of the patent spring clip mechanism.

Each buckle (just over 7 cm long x 6.5 cm wide) is marked with the London leopard mark and the king's head duty stamp. The form of king's head used indicates a construction date between 1786 and 1796. The maker mark used (WE) was entered as a small worker's mark at Goldsmith's Hall on 3 November 1778.

This pair are evidence of a new method of construction in 18th-century shoe buckles, introduced in 1769 where mechanically stamped units were soldered together. This is a superb example of this type, with very little wear apparent. They must have been in a box for most of their life. Even the iron chapes have a considerable amount of their original blue finish. In Buckles 1250-1800 by Ross Whitehead, there is an almost identical pair (number 768), also by William Eley.

There has been some rust, which has been carefully cleaned, leaving the odd patch of dark corrosion extant on the chape work.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.


[Ephemera : Shoe buckles : British : 18th Century]

testimonials

Bayonets arrived safely just now! Really, they're great, and I will definitely buy from you again.

N F, USA, 03.03.2006

I received the silver Verdienstkreuz this morning. Your swiftness and dedication was very much appreciated and, though the envelope arrived with a Post Office sticker saying it had been found open or damaged, the cross was unharmed and looks beautiful. Thanks for your time.

E C, UK, 18.10.2005

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