Hunt Button Collecting

Blackened buttons: Mourning or more?

Posted on Sunday, November 12, 2017
Written by: Firebrand

Most, if not all of us will have come across a blackened button at some time, and may have referred to it as a ‘mourning button’.  There has long been debate between the ‘old guard’ of collectors and the more recently involved as to for whose mourning they were produced.  Some say “It’s Queen Victoria…

Tomorrow never dies?

Posted on Saturday, October 14, 2017
Written by: Firebrand

The deeper down the rabbit hole of collecting one goes, the more intriguing the subject can become: variations, backmarks, silver presentation sets, buttons with errors, and more can become ‘side collections’.  I know that a few collectors of hunt buttons also have a  number of the cast metal dies used to stamp out ‘struck raised’…

The Mystery of the ‘Sussex Hunt’ button.

Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Written by: Firebrand

One of the more well-known reference books to include hunt buttons is Gwen Squire’s ‘Buttons: A guide for collectors‘ – NB by general I mean other than our own fine annual Directory.  Squire’s book illustrates a particular button and refers to it as being for the ‘Sussex Hunt. Now part of the East Sussex and…

Hunting the boar.

Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2017
Written by: Firebrand

From the traditions of the Indian Princely States and earlier, the sporting pig-sticking of British India and ‘the Raj’, and hound driven hunting in Europe we have gained a wonderful history of boar hunting and some magnificent buttons to go with it.  There are many boar hunts whose buttons don’t feature the animal itself, but…

Can anyone identify this button?

Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2017
Written by: Firebrand

Do you know to which pack this button belongs?  Do the oak leaves and acorns give a clue?

Lord Seagrave’s & The Berkeley Hunt: A mystery solved and a new one to address.

Posted on Friday, August 4, 2017
Written by: Firebrand

I thought I’d extend things slightly from just buttons for this post.  One of the best, but lesser known, sources of historical information about hunts and hunting in England are the Victoria Histories of each county.  Not every county’s history has a section on hunting, but most do.  I found an interesting snippet in the…

A wonderful day at Peterborough

Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017
Written by: Firebrand

A hearty ‘Thanks’ to everyone that visited my display of hunt buttons at The Festival of Hunting; with an especial vote of gratitude to Peter and Helen, whom hosted my son and me so well and introduced me to a lot of people, as well as putting on their usual great show on the Baily’s…

Identification needed

Posted on Friday, July 14, 2017
Written by: Firebrand

With less than a week to go before The Festival of Hunting, we are faced with an interesting puzzle to try to solve before the day.  Can anyone give a positive attribution to this unusual ‘joint-pack’ button?  The button looks early, say around 1800 to 1820, but with all that gilt missing and no visible…

A Question of Provenance: Or when is a Cotley button not a Cotley button?

Posted on Saturday, July 8, 2017
Written by: Firebrand

I ended my previous contribution by touching on the subject of attribution and being sure not to limit ourselves by saying such-and-such is THE Blankshire button.  When it comes to unidentified buttons, all collectors are willing to take the occasional leap of faith and make a best educated guess about an ‘unknown’ – myself included;…

To be, or not to be a hunt button? That is the question.

Posted on Friday, May 26, 2017
Written by: Firebrand

Over the years there have been a number of buttons that have taxed the brains of many a collector.  Some had us fooled for many years, until some digging around proved otherwise, others were discovered to be wrong ‘uns by sheer chance. Conversely, some that collectors had dismissed as sporting or stock pattern buttons were…