This bracelet features handwoven, oxidized sterling chainmaille and a focal antique rhinestone shoe buckle, circa 1930. A vintage button used as a eye for a child's toy dangles from the end of the bracelet.
This necklace features an oval, antique cut steel shoe buckle, converted to a pendant, on handwoven, oxidized sterling silver chainmaille. The buckle, circa late 19th century, is 2 1/2" in at its widest and 1 3/4" high.
sterling silver lobster clasp
oxidized sterling silver jump rings
antique cut steel shoe buckle
Cut steel jewelry gained popularity in France during the 18th century when King Louis demanded that citizens turn in their diamonds to help fund war efforts. This type of jewelry features tiny faceted and polished steel studs carved to mimic diamonds and individually riveted in place. Similar in appearance to marcasite, cut steels sparkle brilliantly when polished. Pieces can be dated by looking at the size of the cut steels, which were individually hand-riveted, and the number of facets. Older buckles feature smaller studs with as many as 15 facets. Cut steel jewelry fell out of fashion in the early 20th century when production quality declined and other trends emerged.
This necklace features a vintage Bakelite floral buckle segment, circa 1930, and handwoven black and gold brass chainmaille. The focal pendant is layered with three colors, brown, butterscotch and green. The bi-color chain is handwoven from black enamel and brass jump rings.
necklace is 20" long
pendant is 1 1/2" in diameter
vintage Bakelite buckle component
brass lobster clasp
black enamel and brass chainmaille
Bakelite was an early plastic, developed by Leo Baekeland in 1907. It was originally used for industrial purposes due to its ability to withstand heat. It appeared in costume jewelry beginning in the 1920's and increased in popularity through the 30's and 40's. Bakelite was often intricately carved and came in a wide range of beautiful colors. Today, authentic Bakelite jewelry is highly collectible.