This antique French cape clasp from the early 19th century looks like it is made from cut steel but it actually is a marvelous example of repousse silver work. There is some added decoration that looks like ridged wire around the central medallions and around the piercing, but this too is an illusion created by chasing on the top side. The hallmarks are prominently displayed on the clasp and are worth looking at under magnification as they are beautiful in their own right.
This clasp is a traditional style from the Normandy region of France and would have been sewn on to a cape. It would still make a great a buckle sewn on to a belt or shawl.
SIZE: 4-7/8" long x 2-3/8" high
MARKS: there is a man's right-facing head which is the French hallmark for silver that was used from 1819-1838. There is also a maker's mark in a lozenge-shaped cartouche with the initials "JBR" and calipers within. There is also another mark with face in an oval whose origin I have been unable to determine.
CONDITION: excellent antique condition
Antique French Silver Cape Clasp Buckle from the Early 19th Century