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The large size of these silver and paste (cut and faceted glass) shoe buckles is typical of buckles worn by both men and women during the late eighteenth century. They are believed to have been worn to a ball celebrating George Washington's inauguration as the first president of the United States in 1789. With their resplendent decoration, these buckles would have displayed the wearer's fashionable taste and honored the formality of the occasion.


Shuttle-shaped shoe buckle set with glass pastes along the open, cast silver frame; the pastes are backed with metal foil and are arranged into two rosettes set directly above and below the vertical pin, with a continuous line of oblong pastes set around the rest of the frame; two of the pastes at one corner are missing; narrow silver border with scalloped edges and central zigzag line along the interior edge of the frame; steel chape consisting of a loop roll with two prongs and two-tined tongue.


1780 -1790



Silver, paste, steel


Overall: 1 1/8 in. x 2 3/4 in. x 2 1/4 in. (2.87 cm x 6.99 cm x 5.72 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Michael Tyson of Houston, Texas, 2000

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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