Monday, August 9, 2010

Itty Bitty Button

We found this little button next to the Burch House last week. It has a copper alloy backing with a shank (a small metal loop). There is a small bit of wire through the shank, which is interesting because we would expect a button to be attached using thread, not wire. The inset is porcelain with a flower painted on it in a sparkling gold. Painting buttons and other ceramics was a popular past time in the Victorian era, however the picture on our button looks more like it was executed quickly and somewhat sloppily. It was most likely made in a button factory.

We will be at Port Tobacco tomorrow.


1 comment:

ATED (Ward Oles) said...

April, The reason why it had a bit of wire through the shank is because it is in fact a sleeve button, or more commonly a "cufflink". There are a huge number and variety of these that have turned up in various 18th century sites throughout colonial America. This particular type generally has a lamp worked glass "jewel", copper alloy (brass) or pewter body and bezel, with a oval wire or figural link connecting the pair. Based on other known examples, I'd place it in the third quarter of the 18th century.