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 Gloucestershire history, that helped solve a little mystery. (reproduced for reference. copyright The Victoria Histories)
So, for two periods the familiar tawny yellow of (what became) The Earl of Berkeley’s Hunt was not seen. I had owned a pair of silver and gold fox ‘collar tabs‘ for a number of years, but not known their origin. Here they are: They even have little ruby or ruby-glass eyes.
As for the ‘dress uniform’ mentioned. In my collection I have two ‘Berkeley’ tailcoats:
One from circa 1910, with the traditional mounted button, and the other -dated 1927 – with what I believe are generally considered now to be Master’s buttons, but may have been the field button in earlier years.
I also have a much older and all round better-detailed version of this button, made by G&W Boggett.
I wonder if anyone has ever seen one of the Ladies’ version of dress uniform mentioned in the article? If you have, we’d love to hear about it. Or do they just mean the ladies’ field coat I wonder?
Now onto a related poser: Can anyone confirm or eliminate the idea that there was a Berkeley Hunt Club? The button below (B.H.C) are often attributed as such, but can anyone say for sure? There is a similar (but not identical) button that did the rounds a few years back, that turned out to be the Bedford Hotel Company!!