Shoe, Stock, and Knee Buckles
Shoes were not the only garment fastened with silver, steel, or bejeweled buckles. Men also wore smaller round or oval buckles at the knees to fasten their breeches, until silk ties and buttons replaced them in the late 1700s. Buckles with three or four knobs along one side were used for fastening stocks (see the stock elsewhere in the gallery). The stock would be constructed with eyelet holes to fit the man’s existing stock buckle. Though usually covered by a man’s coat collar, stock buckles were often decorative.
Clockwise from top: shoe buckle, engraved white metal with steel catch, late 1700s, 934, gift of N. M. Bemis,; knee buckle, silver with paste stones, steel catch, late 1700s, 91.34.a, DAR Museum; stock buckle, silver, late 1700s, possibly the 1778 wedding present of Elizabeth Woodson to Maj. Josiah Woodson, 3374, gift of Marie Wilkinson Hodgkins.