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Pair of Paste Shoe Buckles
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Pair of Paste Shoe Buckles
European, third quarter 18th c.

By the early eighteenth century, shoes that closed with laces and bows had been replaced by those with latchets that were secured by separate metal buckles. Made of a wide range of materials including silver, gold, pinchbeck, and steel, shoe buckles became an important means for men especially to showcase their adherence to fashion, as well as their gentility.

Buckles set with faceted glass—known as “paste“—stones were among the most expensive. This large oval pair features stones of graduated sizes set in two concentric rows with teardrop-shaped inner terminals and an inner gallery of copper chased with a festoon motif.


Doll's Dress

Doll's Dress of Printed Wool
American (New England), ca. 1838-40

In the nineteenth century, dolls and their clothing served to socialize young girls and prepare them from an early age for the role of fashion in their lives. Homemade dolls’ clothes often reflected contemporary styles closely as seen in this charming pelisse, or coat-dress. The shape, construction, and fabric of the pelisse suggest a date of about 1830 to 1840. This type of garment with a wide turned-down collar, leg o’mutton sleeves, full, pleated skirts, belted waist, and matching pelerine, or capelet, was fashionable for both women and girls at the time as seen in numerous fashion plates and extant garments. A glazed cotton lining—here bright aquamarine blue—throughout the body of the pelisse further underscores the stylish dress-in-miniature aspect of dolls’ clothing. Undoubtedly made from surplus pieces of fabric, the pelisse features a small-scale, brightly colored pattern of roller-printed wool, similar to designs popular from the late 1820s through the 1830s that feature stylized natural motifs and stripes.



Doll's Dress of Printed Wool

Woven Paisley Shawl
English (for the Russian market), ca. 1850

Shawls woven with intricate paisley motifs were not only fashionable accessories in the nineteenth century—they were also status symbols. In the late eighteenth century, shawls imported from the Kashmir region of India were eagerly sought by fashion-conscious women as tokens of exotica, but European designers quickly began to produce their own versions to capitalize on the demand. Taking advantage of the possibilities afforded by the new Jacquard loom, manufacturers in England, France, and Scotland competed with each other to produce increasingly fine, colorful, and inventive shawl designs that would rival imported examples. This example was manufactured in England for export to the retailer Nicolas Puncke, who ran the Maison Anglais in St. Petersburg.


Woven Paisley Shawl

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