Predominantly, but not exclusively, used as dress buttons on evening tails, mounted buttons are some of the more spectacular examples of hunt buttons.
(N.B. Here I talk of the UK and Ireland. Europe has a stunning tradition for, and variety of, mounted buttons used for field wear.)
I thought I would share a few images for your entertainment. I simply couldn’t show every single one that is ‘out there’, so I have concentrated on some of the more unusual, or more exciting ones I personally have in my collection.
Where to start? With some simple but effective ones, I think. Mr Gosling’s Harriers, a private master’s Cottesmore button, and the limited edition button that the Duke of Richmond (then Lord March) had made for the Charlton Hunt anniversary ‘revival’ meet. Based on the Goodwood Hunt dress button, Firmin & Co changed the G for a C.
One of the nicest mounted buttons (in my humble opinion) is the Flint & Denbigh, with its simple, yet effective, monogramme within the ribboned border. Think of the work entailed in producing the mounts!
A few designs of simple lettering are: The Lawrenny Hunt, South Devon (Mr Singer’s mastership) and the Old Berks.
I particularly enjoy those mounted with silver to contrast against the gilt; such as South Berks, an unidentified CH, and the Enfield Chace Stag Hounds.
Also silver mounted is the FH below. Discussions are heated as to which button this is: Some insist it’s Fernie dress, others say Lord Fermoy’s dress. What do you think?
Becoming slightly more ornate, the workmanship on the mounts of these is amazing. The Norfolk Fox Hounds, Mr William Eden’s, and Mr Meynell Ingram’s – looking decidedly like octopus tentacles!
Some very ornate monogrammes are those of Mr Lubbock’s (i.e. The Blankney 1904 – 1906), the Berwickshire (possibly Lothian and Berwickshire) and the original Perth Fox Hounds.
Coronets play quite a big part. Here are a few. Atherstone master’s (Earl of Huntingdon), Oakley (Marquis of Tavistock), Burton (Viscount Doneraille).
Here we have three different coronets, but you have to look closely. 1) The Earl of Eglinton’ Hunt – with stalks on the pearls. 2. The Earl of Eglinton’s Hunt – without stalks 3. The Eglinton Hunt. The specially commissioned buttons for the very first season as The Eglinton, when the Marchioness of Bute was MFH. These buttons were a surprise find, as everyone thought they were box-standard ‘Earl of….’ buttons.
Charlie also makes a number of appearances. The Madras Hunt – sadly someone took a ‘dremel’ tool to this and removed 95% of the gilt. The Brancepeth, and the very lovely, but as yet unidentified R button.
Names in banners, such as: The Croxteth Harriers (this is just just one of their three types of button known) and the Hooton Hunt from The Wirral – the initials in the centre being those of Sir William Stanley, owner of Hooton Hall.
This leaves me just two more for now. Both superb, high gilt and very ornate Stag hunt buttons. The first may be, but is not confirmed as Sir James Flowers’ Eccles Hunt. It could just as easily be The Essex or the Easingwold SH. And the spectacular Norfolk SH.
I hope these have been a welcome diversion for you. As I said above, I couldn’t feature every one. Some honourable mentions are Monmouth Hunt Club, Heythrop, Mendip Hunt, Northumberland; and from Ireland, the Curraghmore, Clonguish Harriers, and Wexford.
ON A SIDE NOTE:
Preparing this article has taught me a worrying lesson. As you might see in some of those images, verdigris and damage is beginning to appear on some buttons that had been in perfect condition. It’s a stark warning to keep your collection dry. I have just invested in 100 of those little packets of desiccant to put in the cabinet drawers, hopefully to stop things getting worse.
Tags: Hunt Button Collecting