Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of Thanksgiving, we’re highlighting everybody’s favorite pilgrim accessory: shoe buckles!  

 Steel shoe buckles, English c.1600-1649. Collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum. 

Steel shoe buckles, English c.1600-1649. Collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum. 

Well, maybe “accessory” isn’t quite the right term. Puritans felt that ornamentation was a sinful incarnation of vanity, and avoided it at all costs. Heck, the pilgrims were even willing to give up their lives and travel for three months across the Atlantic ocean to get away from Charles II and his ruffles.* Pilgrims would have thought of the seventeenth century shoe buckles shown above as a practical necessity for keeping shoes on feet, not a trendy accessory. 

 Charles II of England and his ruffles. 

Charles II of England and his ruffles. 


BUT, you know who didn’t have a problem with trendy accessories and also liked shoe buckles? Jazz age flappers! These ladies’ buckles were made in the 1920s, and would have clipped onto the front of fancy evening shoes. 

 Shoe buckles, cut steel & leather. French, c 1920s. Available for sale at Gray & Davis. 

Shoe buckles, cut steel & leather. French, c 1920s. Available for sale at Gray & Davis. 

A far cry from the practical pilgrim buckles, these cut steel beauties serve no other function than to make feet look great while dancing the Charleston.

However you choose to fancify your feet,  all of us at Gray & Davis wish you a happy and fun Thanksgiving!

 

*The excess of ruffles may not have been the main reason for the pilgrims' journey to America.