Categories > Button
These are typically escargot or snail shaped, dating to earliest 1800s. They were made from the tunic and other clothing buttons (at times, coins/currency have been used) of the police, military, railway, fire brigade, etc., whatever they wanted to highlight. They can be be very limited in the quantity issued and customized, therefore increasing the collectability and value. There is variation outside of the actual button, as in the heaviness, structural support and quality of the whistle makers design. Although made with quality and with heavy construction methods, many were made of thinner steel parts and it makes it harder to find examples without rust. Lettering can often be seen inside on the buttons still, helping to identify their purpose. The makers are much harder to identify. They were eventually replaced by light weight escargots in the 1880s and then heavier ones starting circa 1890. The sheer variety of the buttons and construction makes them a constant joy of discovery.
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