In the eighteenth century, pastes - rhinestones made of glass - enjoyed great popularity as less expensive, sparkling jewels that rivaled the radiance of real gems. In contrast to diamonds, pastes could be more freely faceted and shaped to fit a variety of designs, making them ideal candidates to fill the scrolling forms of rococo jewelry. Over sixty brilliant-cut pastes ornament this silver shoe buckle, which may have been worn by Martha Washington.


Circular silver shoe buckle with a convex profile set with sixty-nine, brilliant-cut clear glass pastes along the cast, open frame; three of the original pastes are missing; the two largest pastes are set directly above and below the vertical hinge; pastes set in three ribbon like swags surround each of the largest pastes; vertical hinge of three segments, two of which support a cooking-pot shaped roll with two spikes; the central segment of the hinge supports a two tined, forked tongue.





Silver, glass, iron


Overall: 2 3/16 in. x 2 in. x 11/16 in. (5.56 cm x 5.08 cm x 1.75 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Leila Garnett Burdett Daingerfield in the name of Edward Abbott Burdett, 1917
Conservation courtesy of the Life Guard Society of Historic Mount Vernon

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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