This is exactly the sort of belt or sash buckle you'd expect to see in a painting by Burne-Jones, Rossetti or other artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Obviously it was hand-crafted in the Victorian Gothic Revival period to mimic a medieval jewel -- complete with undulations of the metalwork, witchy faux-prongs that look like talons and four collet-set stones of rich royal purple amethyst glass.
Probable dating would be the 1860s or 1870s and most likely it originated in England, although it reached us from an East Coast estate.
Measuring more than 2 inches round, the buckle is in superb condition for its age. The gilt brass finish has patinated to a soft powdery effect on the front, where the lacquer on the surface is almost wholly intact. Some loss of lacquer is evident on the reverse, where there are brighter underlying areas. You might want to clean all the lacquer off and go for high-shine everywhere, but I'll leave that decision to you.
Obviously this buckle would be a wonderful accent for historic SCA costume, as well as a fabulously original fashion accessory for both formal and informal attire. To wear it, you'd simply stitch the bracket to a soft belt or sash (up to 1 1/2 inches wide) and, at the other end, add an eye of metal or thread for the hook to slide into.
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