It’s time for the identity of our latest curio to be revealed!
If you guessed belt buckle, then you are correct! While modern belt buckles have a very standard design whose popularity dates to its use by Hollywood in the 20th Century, they have been slowly changing in style since the Iron Age!
Belt buckle types that predate our modern “box-out” buckles include the basic “frame-and-prong” buckle, with examples dating back to ancient times; and military “plate-style” buckles, which featured a flat, often decorated surface on the clasp. Because belts were seen as a military accessory, it was more typically a male fashion item. Due to its small size, the buckle we have here was more likely originally part of a shoe strap rather than a waist belt.