Button finds

As metal detecting becomes ever more popular detectorists are finding various buttons including many made by Hammond Turner.

Trevor Dixon found this button near the Murray river on the border between New South Wales and Victoria. On the same site he also found some coins and a needle holder of about the same age.

He says that you cannot now tell that there was ever a building on the site, and that is was only his research that revealed the one-time existence of a homestead there. He wrote ‘I so envy you and your history. We have all of about 220 years of it here in Australia, so a find like this is very exciting.’

Lachlan Round was metal detecting in Australia in an area which his 1940s map marked as "ruins from a shepherd's hut", approximately one hour northwest of where Stan Purcell found his button, when he found this lovely button.

Christopher Simmins of Newstead in Victoria, Australia, contacted me about a lovely button he found recently.

In his email, Christopher wrote that, in 2014, 'a friend found this interesting old button in a rubbish pit at the rear of her circa 1852 pub located at Dunolly, Victoria, Australia.'

On the web he had found 'quite a few VR monogram pressed buttons ... with poor historic info. The sellers seem to misunderstand and passionately misinterpret the VR monogram as Victorian Railways, which is a wild and incorrect assumption.'

After carrying out a closer investigation and what he called 'a cursory forensic comparison' between the VR button on this website and his example. Christopher suggested that, although they are very similar at first glance, they contain quite distinct differences.
He wrote that 'the subtle detail features between the two buttons are quite noticeable, in particular the change from three to six jewels and the Fleur de lis stamping on the crown. Allowing for wear and tear on the original VR monogram die stamped by HT&S, I would boldly suggest that the die that used to create the monogram on the Australian find VR button was the original and had worn over time, losing its original detail features due to the thousands of stampings. I reckon the die that stamped your button was re-sunk at a later time, mainly due to wear. Your fine VR button example seems to appears to have undergone some extra fine detail adjustments by the die engraver, and no doubt was with the approval from the Royal College Of Arms.'
He guessed that this button was made in the late 1840s and originally belonged on a New South Wales Colonial Forces red coat.


Mark Leadley contacted me after finding this button in a field just outside Peel on the Isle of Man. He has found a number of interesting buttons featuring the treskele (or triskelion), the three-legged symbol of the Isle of Man. 

Would you like help identifying a button found in grandma's button box or found with a metal detector? You could go to Contact us and send us an email.

The first button in the new Sporting gallery 4 is amazingly well-travelled. It was generously donated to my collection by Stan Purcell of Gordon, Victoria, Australia, seen here with his metal detector.

Marty Wiemert, a member of Metal Detecting Maine, recently found a Hammond Turner button at an old site. Marty very kindly donated the button to my collection.

Grant Maxwell-Thomson recently found a Hammond Turner button whilst metal detecting: he kindly sent it to me to add to my collection.

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About us

This web site has been created by Lesley Close as an on-line museum displaying some of the buttons and other artifacts manufactured by Hammond Turner & Sons (and related companies), button makers of Birmingham (and Manchester), England.

Lesley's interest in buttons started when she saw the words 'button maker' in the 'father's occupation' column of her maternal great grandmother's marriage certificate. After rather too many 'ag labs', vicars and sailors, here was a wonderful change of occupation. She thought she might find a picture of a button: instead, she found a picture of the one-time owner of the business and over 200 different buttons made by the company.

What we don't do

The button-making company Hammond Turner no longer exists - we do not make buttons!