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


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:




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." -

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






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..."



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:



 Button on a muslin day dress 1800-1810


Metal wire

 Spencer 1818-1820 Chertsey museum

For more images of this Spencer jacket please see:


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:



1820-1850 English



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: but I wonder if they are miniatures and portraits



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:


 1820 French


Metal, ivory, glass, rubies, diamonds

 1820 French

Please see:


Paste and metal

 1820 probably European

Please see:




For more images of Regency buttons please see:



Even buttonholes in the Regency could be beautiful:


Please see:



This project is being supported by:

Arts Council England, The Textile Society and Great Art




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