The Regency Wardrobe collection - research - Buttons

The Regency era was the last period in which buttons were hand-made. From 1850 machine-made buttons took over, coming from factories in the developing industries of Birmingham and other growing cities.

These two images show beautiful detailing including wonderful Regency era buttons from garments sold by https://kerrytaylorauctions.com/

Ice-blue figured silk pelisse robe circa 1820

Often ornate and beautiful Regency buttons were produced in many different styles using a wide variety including:

Thread

Dorset Buttons:

"A Dorset button is a style of craft-made button originating in the English county of Dorset. Their manufacture was at a peak between 1622 and 1850." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorset_button

For excellent tutorials on how to make a dorset buttons please see:

- henrysbuttons.co.uk/worksheets-and-tutorials.html

or

- http://www.potterwrightandwebb.co.uk/dorset/how-to-make-a-dorset-button

Death's Head Buttons:

"...Death’s Head Buttons, a lovely kind of thread-covered buttons that can be seen on clothes through the 18th and into the 19th century. They mostly appear on menswear..."

- https://fabricnfiction.com/2018/02/12/tutorial-deaths-head-buttons/

Button on a man's Regency shirt from The Worthing Museum collection

For more about these beautiful examples on a shirt I saw in the Worthing museum store please see: https://stephaniesmart.wixsite.com/thehiddenwardrobe/blog-1/worthing-museum-fashion-collection-shirts

Fabric

Button on a muslin day dress 1800-1810

Metal wire

Spencer 1818-1820 Chertsey museum

For more images of this Spencer jacket please see:

https://stephaniesmart.wixsite.com/thehiddenwardrobe/blog-1/chertsey-museum-fashion-collection-spencer-jackets

Paper and metal

1815 French

I think these are beautiful and so relevent to the work I will be doing reflecting the art of paper cut silhouettes.

Please see: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/114703?searchField=All&sortBy=relevance&when=A.D.+1800-1900&what=Buttons&ft=button&offset=80&rpp=20&pos=84

Mother-of-Pearl

1820-1850 English

Glass

1810s French

I find it interesting that these buttons show us examples of the fashion of the time. There's nothing written about them on the Met site (please see: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/114386?searchField=All&sortBy=relevance&when=A.D.+1800-1900&what=Buttons&ft=button&offset=20&rpp=20&pos=23) but I wonder if they are miniatures and portraits

Porcelain

ca.1810 European

Given the craze for all things classical not least as regards fashion and the empire line dress it's not surprising to find buttons reflecting this. For more details please see:

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/114700?searchField=All&sortBy=relevance&when=A.D.+1800-1900&what=Buttons&ft=button&offset=80&rpp=20&pos=85

and

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/115294?searchField=All&sortBy=relevance&when=A.D.+1800-1900&what=Buttons&ft=button&offset=40&rpp=20&pos=54

1820 French

Metal, ivory, glass, rubies, diamonds

1820 French

Please see: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/114366?searchField=All&sortBy=relevance&when=A.D.+1800-1900&what=Buttons&ft=button&offset=100&rpp=20&pos=111

Paste and metal

1820 probably European

Please see: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/114693?searchField=All&sortBy=relevance&when=A.D.+1800-1900&what=Buttons&ft=button&offset=100&rpp=20&pos=102

For more images of Regency buttons please see: https://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/tag/georgian-era-buttons/

Even buttonholes in the Regency could be beautiful:

Please see: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/421016265161272494/



This research was done as part of the process of designing and making The Regency Wardrobe collection.




The Regency Wardrobe will be exhibited at Firle Place, in 2021. As soon as the collection has been shown images of all the finished pieces will be made visible on stephaniesmart.net


This project is being supported by:

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