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Buttons

  • Place of origin:

    Dalmatia (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, filigree

  • Credit Line:

    Given by B. H. Jackson

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.20&A-1951

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 78, shelf D, box 14 []

Men throughout Europe wore silver buttons with their traditional costume in the 19th century. Silver filigree buttons had been synonymous with rural dress since at least the 16th century. Most European cultures disapproved of male jewellery, but buttons allowed men to show off their wealth and status. They wore them in extravagant numbers, on sleeves and trousers as well as jackets and waistcoats. Few women wore decorative silver buttons, but theirs are often the most spectacular.

In the Balkans, silver buttons were worn only by men, with very few exceptions. They were usually fastened with a toggle bar, rather than sewn directly to the garment, and were used to fasten the waistcoat or jacket, for both men and women. These buttons probably come from the Konavli district of Croatia, where they formed part of the bride’s dowry. They were worn in sets of around ten buttons.

Physical description

Pair of hollow filigree toggle buttons, with waisted oval link and crossover bar. There is a rope of braided wire round the girdle. Decorated back and front with applied granules, with a pyramidal knop on the top.

Place of Origin

Dalmatia (made)

Date

1800-1900 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver, filigree

Dimensions

Length: 5.0 cm, Diameter: 2.1 cm

Descriptive line

Pair of silver filigree toggle buttons, Dalmatia (Croatia), 1800-1900.

Production Note

Worn by women

Materials

Silver

Techniques

Filigree

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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