Cut Steel Buttons

Buttons can serve a practical purpose but can be used on clothing (or elsewhere) for purely decorative effect.  In both cases they can bee seen as a form of jewellery. And there were very many steel buttons made.  We have already seen that Worralow, the great Wolverhampton steel toy maker, made buttons for royalty.  Matthew Boulton made vast numbers of metal buttons and cut steel ones were in his range.  Buttons were certainly made in Wolverhampton, though to what extent  is not known - button makers appear in the nineteenth century trade directories.  It is safe to assume that, whatever other buttons were produced here, Wolverhampton produced steel buttons, especially those which incorporated faceted steel studs. 

The types of steel buttons found show the same variety as is found in buckles.  Some examples, all from a private local collection, are shown below. None of them has a provenance.  They may originate from Wolverhampton or from elsewhere in the UK (say Birmingham) or from France, Germany or wherever.

3.5 cms diam.  Studs rivetted onto a thick steel wheel shape.

3 cms diam.  The front is a single stamping of a low grade metal, fixed to a backing of similar metal.

3 cms diam.  Studs rivetted to a backing. 

3.25 cms. diam.  Studs rivetted into stamped piece.

3 cms. diam.  Studs rivetted into a backing. 

2.5 cms. diam.  Studs rivetted into backing. 

2.5 cms. diam.   Studs rivetted into stamped brass (?) piece.

2.5 cms diam.  Studs rivetted into backing.

Set of four buttons, each 1.5 cms. diam.  Studs rivetted into solid backing.

Mixed group of smaller buttons.  The two buttons in the second column are stamped; but the third button in the top row has studs rivetted into a stamping as has the fourth button in the bottom row.

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