Black Diamonds -- so called since the faceted, highly polished cut steel studs sparkled like a "poor man's" diamond. Cut steel shoes buckles were all the rage from the late 19th century until the 1920s. Myriad shapes, sizes and designs were created, many made in France, though this pair is unmarked. Highly polished, faceted cut steel studs were riveted into place, and backed with a perforated bar for attachment to the shoe. The pair offered have the added decoration on each corner of three "leaves" or marquise cut faceted steel studs. They also come with cut to fit black satin panels with a muslin backing. I don't know if these inserts are original to the buckles but I am including them. They can easily be slipped out at your discretion.
The buckles each measure about 2 1/4 inches x 1 1/4 inches with an approximate 1/4 inch arch or curve. The pair weigh about 44 grams, satin inserts included.
Condition is excellent vintage. All cut steel studs are intact. NONE missing. All have a beautiful high sheen -- they really do sparkle like black diamonds! Bar backs intact with secure soldering. Reverse of buckles have some minor wear. Black satin panels in very good condition with nice, even black shade. No tears. Muslin backing intact. Some minor age fraying around muslin borders --not visible from front. Considering these buckles' age, they are in amazing condition. Outstanding faceting / polishing for super sparkle.
Probably French, but no markings visible.
Soon, rhinestones would supersede cut steel as the brilliants of choice. Black diamonds were on the "cutting" edge of the rhinestone revolution and remain an important bridge in evolution of fashion jewelry.
Steel it at Cody's vintage jewelry.
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