8th October 2021

Early Victorian Uniform Button

Victoria Volunteer Artillery regiment

Damaged: no shank or back plate. It was either gilt or silver plated when made.

The Age (Melbourne), 14th November 1855 page 5.

There are two versions of this button on Cossum’s book, page 14. It shows a cannon on wheeled cart with the letters V.V.A.R. with a 6 pointed star at each end. This dates the button from 1856-1859, as in 1859 the regiment received the Royal warrant and commissioned new buttons marked R.V.V.A.R. It looks like a one piece, hollow back button, but I can’t be sure it didn’t once have a back plate.

This sketch by Frederick Grosse dates from the 1860s, after the Royal title had been bestowed. It shows the artillery in action in the lower right of the scene.

Cossum quotes a backmark for similar buttons as “W. Barnard Melbourne”. There was a William Barnard operating from 133 Little Bourke Street east from 1854-57 who was variously described as a working jeweller, a watchmaker, and a gilder. He was paid for striking medals in 1857, so he may have been a die-sinker as well (or subcontracted it).

The Age (Melbourne), 16th July 1855 page 1.

 

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