Gold or silver buckles were popular in the 18th century, giving the finishing touches to elegant dress. They were one of the few pieces of jewellery worn by men, who wore matching shoe and knee buckles, those at the knee fastening breeches at the side.

Making buckles became a highly skilled craft at which English silversmiths excelled. Exquisitely wrought designs, glittering pastes and precious stones reflected the status of the wearer as well as the occasion. Cheaper and plainer versions were made of steel, brass and other metal alloys.

This buckle, one of a pair, with Museum no. 954A-1864, bears the mark of the London buckle-maker John Rich.


  • Title: Knee buckle
  • Creator: Rich, John
  • Date Created: 1775/1784
  • Location: London
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 3.63 cm, Width: 2.29 cm, Depth: 0.57 cm
  • Provenance: Given by the Rev. R. Brooke
  • Medium: Gold

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