Belt buckle


Inventory number
Large rectangular women's belt buckle in openwork iron, set with large square pyramid shaped jet stones and smaller round faceted beads.

Cast-iron jewellery was an inexpensive but fashionable novelty for consumers in Europe and America from around 1800 to 1860. Developed in Germany in 1806 and often worn during mourning, the production of iron jewellery reached its peak between 1813 and 1815, when the Prussian royal family urged all citizens to contribute their gold and silver jewellery towards funding the uprising against Napoleon during the War of Liberation. In return the people were given iron jewellery such as brooches and finger rings, often with the inscription "Gold gab ich für Eisen" (I gave gold for iron), or "Für das Wohl des Vaterlands" (For the welfare of our fatherland).

The transformation of cast iron, originally a dark metal of little value, into a fashionable product was an important Prussian manufacturing success. Factories became adept at casting small, delicate parts which could be assembled to create the jewellery following the latest trends. 
circa 1860 Germany
Length : 5 cm
Height : 7.5 cm