I am still in search of the perfect antique 18th century shoe buckles (especially since I missed out on those gorgeous rococco ones on eBay a while back aaarrrgh) but in the meantime I have found other things to take my fancy.
It was listed as dating from the 1780s but the hallmarks are a bit hard to make out clearly. One is a diamond/lozenge and the other looks like a boar's head - and I think given that most french silver on the market is actually from after 1838 it's more likely to be from the 1800s than earlier. I need to learn more about the styles from this era.
It's missing a couple of the paste stones and the dangly bits are modern additions which I'll replace with an old pearl drop if I can find one I like.
There is evidence of two pendant rings at the top on the reverse which are no longer there so it was a versatile little item.
But none of the faults worries me particularly. It's pretty and has survived the better part of two centuries and once again I wonder who wore it and where, was it a present or did someone buy themself a treat, just as I have.