Cut Steel in the Hour of Chaos
In Victorian times, polished and facetted cut steel was a very popular mode of decoration.Tiny, sparkly studs would be riveted to a steel backing to make jewelry and ornaments, such as brooches and shoe buckles. I’ve had many cut steel shoe buckles pass my hands and I don’t think I’ve ever shared them before.
At different points in fashion history, folks would fastened their shoes with buckles rather than laces. You could have one set of buckles to tighten all of your footwear or you could employ several different buckles to dress up one pair of shoes. I believe all of these buckles are Victorian, basically because both buckles and cut steel fell out of favour before the dawn of the 20th century.
According to collectors, more the more studs and facets the piece has, the finer and older it probably is. I can just picture these buckles dancing across a ballroom floor (for certainly cut steel buckles were for fancy occasions) and throwing off tiny sparks of light.