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

Buttons

ca. 1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

These two buttons are made from cut steel and may originally have served as cuff links. Individual faceted steel studs are attached to a backplate through a series of carefully spaced holes.
The production of cut-steel ornaments appears to have first started in Woodstock near Oxford in the early 1600s. By the 1760s it had spread to other English cities, including London and Birmingham. Cut steel became popular on the Continent as well. It was not only used as a cheap substitute. The inventory made after the death of the French Empress Josephine in 1814 also included two suites of cut-steel jewellery.
Cut steel continued to flit in and out of fashion throughout the 19th century. It was produced in Paris in small quantities until the 1940s.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Button
  • Button
Materials and Techniques
Cut steel
Brief Description
Pair of buttons, cut steel, England, about 1800.
Physical Description
A pair of buttons made from cut steel, perhaps later adapted for use as cuff-links.
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 2.6cm
Gallery Label
16. PAIR OF BUTTONS, cut steel, England; c. 1810 Museum No. Circ.9&a-1936(07/1994)
Credit line
Given anonymously
Summary
These two buttons are made from cut steel and may originally have served as cuff links. Individual faceted steel studs are attached to a backplate through a series of carefully spaced holes.

The production of cut-steel ornaments appears to have first started in Woodstock near Oxford in the early 1600s. By the 1760s it had spread to other English cities, including London and Birmingham. Cut steel became popular on the Continent as well. It was not only used as a cheap substitute. The inventory made after the death of the French Empress Josephine in 1814 also included two suites of cut-steel jewellery.

Cut steel continued to flit in and out of fashion throughout the 19th century. It was produced in Paris in small quantities until the 1940s.
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.9&A-1936

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record createdFebruary 11, 2003
Record URL