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  • Place of origin:

    Salamanca (made)

  • Date:

    1860-1870 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gilded silver sheet with applied twisted wire and granules

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Most European cultures disapproved of male jewellery in the 19th century, but allowed the use of functional items such as buttons and watch chains. Men often wore these in extravagant quantities with traditional costume.

This hollow, silver-gilt button comes from Salamanca, in Spain. Men in that region wore a large variety of buttons, both flat and hollow, as was common throughout Spain, but the pattern on this one, of a star made from a mass of tiny applied granules and rings of twisted wire, is unique to Salamanca, and to the village of La Alberca in particular. Originally, it would probably have been worn to fasten the collar of a man's shirt, linked to a matching pair by an oval loop. It was bought, with two others, for eight shillings at the International Exhibition, London, 1872.

Similar buttons were worn by men in the Zeeland region of the Netherlands, but there the stars always have six points, and the links between the buttons are usually round.

Physical description

Hollow silver-gilt button with rounded face decorated with a star made from applied rings of twisted wire, and granules. There is a larger granule in the centre.

Place of Origin

Salamanca (made)


1860-1870 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Gilded silver sheet with applied twisted wire and granules


diameter: 25 mm, depth: 24 mm

Descriptive line

Hollow silver-gilt button with applied filigree star, Salamanca (Spain), 1860-1870.






Jewellery; Metalwork; Traditional jewellery (Europe)


Metalwork Collection

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