HESH-F9BBC9: Post Medieval: Enamelled Button

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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Unique ID: HESH-F9BBC9

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

A post-medieval cast copper alloy button with enamel decoration and integral shank of the 'Stuart enamel' type dated c. AD 1600-1700. The button is circular in plan with a convex front and a concave back. In cross section it is D shaped. A geometric pattern on the front face is applied in the cloisonné style but is poorly preserved. The design consists of a large raised central boss from which extend four pentagonal cells filled with opposing white and turquoise glass / enamel: between the angles of the pentagonals are triangular wedges of dark blue / black coloured glass. This central design is enclosed within a ring of pellets which divide the central pattern from the exterior one. The exterior design / edge is poorly preserved it seems to be decorated with paired triangular cells that form a pelta shape filled with either white or turquoise enamel and are separated by small black enamel lozenges. The arrangement of the coloured cells opposes the colours in the central design; i.e. the turquoise central pentagon is opposite to the white coloured enamel pelta. The reverse face is plain and undecorated from the centre a rectangular shank extends; the terminal is pierced by a central drilled hole at which point it is broken. The metal of the button is heavily abraded and corroded being a greenish brown colour.

The button measures 24.7mm in diameter, is 8.2mm thick including the shank and 6.5mm excluding it; it weighs 6.7 grams.

Laura Burnett (FLO Somerset and researcher in post medieval enamels) comments:

Other similarly decorated buttons recorded on the PAS have a wide range of designs including zoomorphic (e.g. BH-DEE512) and, most commonly, flower designs (e.g. CORN-87AA74). Read (2010: 53-6) illustrates a range of similar buttons. Enamel decorated buttons were made by a brass foundry based in London specialising in enamels and this blue (and white) are the typical colours used (cf LANCUM-B0D5C3 for a discussion). While more elaborate product of this industry (previously known as Surrey Enamels) have been published (Blair 2005 and 2006) simpler, smaller items such as these buttons are currently being researched as more examples have come to light through the PAS. Read (ibid: 44) suggests a mid 17th century day for this material.

Class: Stuart Enamel

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1600
Date to: Circa AD 1700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 8.2 mm
Weight: 6.7 g
Diameter: 24.7 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Peter Reavill
Identified by: Mr Peter Reavill
Secondary identifier: Ms Laura Burnett

Other reference numbers

Other reference: HFD Entry Form No: HFDMG 3210

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Floral
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with enamel

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Eaton Bishop (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SO4438
Four figure Latitude: 52.0375601
Four figure longitude: -2.81780351
1:25K map: SO4438
1:10K map: SO43NW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Gardening
General landuse: Other
Specific landuse: Garden

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: HESH
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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