Two sterling stock buckles set with paste stones, c1780-1790. Each is approximately 1 ¾” tall.
They are distinguished from other kinds of buckles by the studs on the chape, which fitted into holes made for that purpose at one end of the stock. The prongs of the tongue allowed it to be fastened tightly round the throat, as fashion demanded. Though stocks went out of fashion for ordinary wear around 1800, they were still worn by military officers throughout the 19th century.
The pleated stock shown above will help to explain how the stock buckle was worn. The tab with buttonholes was slipped over studs on the chape of the buckle, while the plain tab was pulled through the buckle, held in place by the prongs of the tongue.
Most stock buckles were quite simple, made of brass or other metals, even silver. These stock buckles, set with shimmery stones, would most likely have been worn with evening wear.