, British, 1863 - 1944
Material and Medium: Sterling silver, textile
Dimensions: Other: 75 x 135mm (2 15/16 x 5 5/16in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: 2007.169
This object is a handcrafted Sterling silver belt buckle. The buckle has been made in two separate pieces that would have originally been attached to the ends of a belt. The two sections of the buckle can be fastened together using the clasp. This type of two-piece belt buckle is often called a nurse's buckle as they were included as part of their uniform. Similar buckles are used by nurses today.
Both parts of the buckle are decorated with a bird in flight against a background of fretwork and scrolls. The decoration has been achieved using a handcraft technique called saw piercing. This is a labour intensive, highly skilled traditional method of working.
A similar effect can be achieved using a mass production technique called punch piercing. This relies on the use of punches and a fly press. The technique is cheaper and less labour intensive than hand piercing, but the effect is usually simpler and more standardised.
This object is part of the George Ellis Collection.