I'm a first-time poster on this site, and a new living history enthusiast, though I've been a lover of medieval history since childhood. I am in the midst of assembling kit for a late 14th century man-at-arms or knight. I'm looking for belt fittings and buckles for a dress belt (civilian clothing for a knight), and have a basic question on the authenticity of metal used for these items.
The large majority of offerings for commercially-made buckles and fittings seem to be one of two metals: pewter and brass. Two examples: Fettered Cock (pewter) and Revival Clothing (brass).
I seem to remember brass not existing in the 14th century, but also that there was some alloy available that was similar in appearance. Assuming the fittings are themselves designed authenically, can I go by asthetics in my choice of metals without fear of straying from 14th century realism, or should I go with non-gold colored metal to stick with period technology and fashion. Comments on social status relative to owning one metal or another would also be very useful.
As a final add-on, I'd like to expand the question to brass fittings in general. They seem also to be popular with sword replica manufacturers, but I don't know of many artifacts that used something other than steel (or gold for the really outrageous swords for high nobility).
I'd really appreciate any help you can give.