This year, I'd like to wear a belt, instead, made of cream ribbon and clasped in front. In my collection, bought from a grab bag full of Kewpie dolls and 1960s earrings, is this cut steel belt buckle. There is a little rust on it, but not much. It's real cut steel, not an imitation, for like real cut steel pieces, each head is riveted to the frame. It's not quite four inches long and is probably late Victorian, meant to be worn with a sash.
|Buckle front. Some rust, but not much,|
|Back of buckle. One side is missing its strap.|
|How it clasps.|
Cut steel was very popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It was popular, in fact, right into the twentieth century. In the recent Napoleon: Empire of Fashion exhibit, cut steel belts and other items, including a necklace, appeared, including a cut-steel butterfly on a Directoire (1790s) evening ensemble. Also, teardrop and leaf shapes were used in 18th century embroidery designs, which bear relation to jewelry designs, along with the round shapes.
Because of the rust and the missing strap, the buckle does not have much instrinsic value, so I feel okay wearing it. If I did wear it, would have to rig something for that missing strap.
I cannot decide whether to wear it, and go back and forth.
Your kind advice, pros and cons, please!