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’ buttons (as opposed to cast or engraved).
Here are just a few. Once rusty, they have been gently brought up to scratch with good old Zebo black lead polish and will last well beyond tomorrow. Unfortunately, manufacturing methods have moved on, and the old dies can’t be used on modern machinery to reproduce long forgotten patterns. Let’s start with some familiar favourites.
This ‘Brocklesby‘ die could be old enough to be more accurately referred to as an Earl of Yarborough’s Hunt.
A few well-known designs
Moving on to some less well-known designs and/or facts. People may not be familiar with the fact that two packs, one either side of the Irish Sea, share this same design.
According to the Firmin pattern books, this is Lord Shannon’s original Union pack.
These two were only identified when the 1908 English and Scottish Hunt Annuals came to light.
We know little about this pack, other than it used five slightly different editions of this button. Namely: Members’ Field, Members’ Dress, Members’ black field, Lady members, and Hunt Servant’s (shown below). Does anyone know which pack it is?
Finally, the mystery. Over its long history, the The Mendip Hunt and later The Mendip Farmers’ has had a number of different designs for its buttons – five to my knowledge. Also, there is told, the ‘legend’ of the lost Mendip Fox Hounds button (just MFH). It was mentioned to me for the first time this year at Peterborough, so it’s all news to me. Could this be it?
As always; any on-topic views, comments, questions, corrections and information would be gratefully received.