When I first started writing this post it was in my History blog. I was calling it “The Research Tangent that Causes Swooning” because I thought I bought myself a fun enamel buckle that might work for a historical era of dress.
I dove into researching when enamel buckles exsisted, which shapes were when, what styles fit each era. There were many “Oooo”s and “Ahhh”s and spontaneous jaw lowering as I looked at museum collections and auction sites. I looked at as much as I could, as fast as I could before telling g the seller I wanted it. I even ordered a book off Amazon.
There was one detail that alluded me. It is one I have ooopsed on before….
It seems I bought Calli a nice enamebelt buckle.
Despite the seller placing the buckle clearly on an inch grid and stating the size, I was too excited and asked all the wrong questions.
Curious about enamel buckles in the mid nineteenth century? Here is some of what I found:
There were enamel buckles being designed and produced in the 1850s and 60s. It seems this was more so the case in England than the US, based on what I’ve found so far. This is a simple search for “enamel buckle” between 1850-65 in Google Books. The Victoria and Albert Museum has this lovely set of design illustrations by a goldsmith for various pieces including buckles with enamel. The center piece for this bracelet particularly caught my attention because the shape is quite similar while the enamel design and purpose are not. The MET did not have a similar buckle or buckles of the era of interest. But, it does have painted enamel buckles that I must learn more about.
There are several shapes of slide style buckles evident in cdvs: ovals, rectangles, and variations on each. I have not found a buckle with my shape nor the reverse slide aspect.
Other Resources to track down: