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  • Place of origin:

    Schoonhoven (made)

  • Date:

    1787 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stamped silver

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 71, shelf A, box 7

From the 17th century onwards, Dutch men wore dozens of silver buttons to demonstrate their wealth and status. The most popular kinds were round silver filigree buttons, and flat pictorial buttons. The designs on pictorial buttons were those of most interest to their owners: rural and seafaring scenes, bible stories, patriotic symbols, and horsemen. Many were based on the designs of 17th century coins, but the same patterns continued to be used well into the 20th century.

This button shows a VOC trading ship of the 17th century. It is marked on the back with the town arms of Schoonhoven, the date letter for 1787, and the silversmith’s initials ‘IV’. It may have been made by Jan van Vlierden, who worked in Schoonhoven from 1780-1790, but he is not recorded as a button maker.

Physical description

Flat circular button with the picture of a sailing ship of the 17th century stamped on the front.

Place of Origin

Schoonhoven (made)


1787 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Stamped silver

Marks and inscriptions

4 lions in a square frame
Town mark of Schoonhoven
On the back.

Date letter for 1787
On the back.

Maker's mark. Possibly Jan van Vlierden, active in Schoonhoven 1780-1790.
On the back. This silversmith is not recorded as a maker of buttons.

flowered 'V'
Duty mark applied 1817-1842
On the back.


Diameter: 2.2 cm, Depth: 0.9 cm

Descriptive line

Silver button stamped with a ship, Schoonhoven (Netherlands), 18th century.

Production Note

Worn by men





Subjects depicted



Jewellery; Metalwork; Europeana Fashion Project


Metalwork Collection

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