Button thumbnail 1
Button thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Button

1780-1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Cut steel was a fashionable material for jewellery, buttons, buckles, sword hilts and watch chains in the decades around 1800. They were made from brightly polished rivets, their ends faceted to imitate diamonds. Such pieces gave a grey but powerful glitter. Originally an English speciality, the production of cut steel had spread to other centres in Europe by the early 19th century. The Birmingham manufacturer Matthew Boulton pioneered the attractive combination of cut steel with the blue and white jasperware plaques made by Wedgwood.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Cut steel set with a jasperware plaque
Brief Description
Button, cut steel frame, set with a jasper plaque showing the signs of the Zodiac, made in England, about 1780-1800
Physical Description
Button, cut steel frame, set with a jasper plaque, showing the signs of the Zodiac. The plaque made in the factory of Josiah Wedgwood (1730-95), the setting possibly by Matthew Boulton (1728-1809).
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 4.4cm
  • Depth: 1.3cm
Credit line
Pfungst Reavil Bequest
Subjects depicted
Summary
Cut steel was a fashionable material for jewellery, buttons, buckles, sword hilts and watch chains in the decades around 1800. They were made from brightly polished rivets, their ends faceted to imitate diamonds. Such pieces gave a grey but powerful glitter. Originally an English speciality, the production of cut steel had spread to other centres in Europe by the early 19th century. The Birmingham manufacturer Matthew Boulton pioneered the attractive combination of cut steel with the blue and white jasperware plaques made by Wedgwood.
Bibliographic Reference
Stemp, Sinty, "Ornamental or Useful: A Cut Steel Chatelaine by Boulton and Wedgwood", The Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, Vol. 17, June 2009, ISSN. 1359124X, p. 10, ill.
Collection
Accession Number
M.4-1969

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record createdFebruary 10, 2003
Record URL