Archive

A selection of buttonhooks which have been sold from 2007.

This little glovehook has a bird terminal in “cold painted bronze”. There is a series of these, quite rare, and so far we have records of parrot, cat, partridge  & robin terminals. The white metal shank on which the animal character sits is of a consistent profile but no markings to indicate where the glove hook is made. Cold painted bronze figures are almost always from Vienna and I would guess this is the origin of the animal characters. The “distressed” nature of the painted finish is also a characteristic of this type of glove hook. (see Sue Brandon’s book “Buttonhooks & Shoehorns” page 25)

Item reference: 2762
Dimensions: 5 and 1/2 inches overall
Condition: good original
Price: £58 GB
Status: Sold

one of the rare Corozo nut buttonhooks, carved into a grotesque face. It is generally accepted the nuts were carved in Africa and mounted on a steel shaft in France. All original with glass eyes

Item reference: 2609
Dimensions: 3 and 1/4 inches overall length
Condition: good original
Price: £110 GB
Status: Sold

Whitby Jet hand carved glove buttonhook with carving of Whitby Abbey

Item reference: 2422
Dimensions: 3 and 5/8 inches overall
Condition: good original
Price: £38 GB
Status: Sold

a WW1 Trench Art buttonhook with washers of brass, aluminium, copper and plastic discs. Additionally there are also circular inserts giving added ornamentation. The steel shaft is also unusual in that it is made from the “flying wire” from early bi-planes. A Rolls Royce of trench art craftsmanship!

Item reference: 3342
Dimensions: 7 and 3/4 inches overall
Condition: good antique original
Price: £25 GB
Status: Sold

a silver handled buttonhook with engraved floral decoration by Henry Matthews, established in 1893 at Vittoria Street, Birmingham. It is hallmarked Birmingham 1908

Item reference: 3255
Dimensions: 8 & 3/8 inches overall
Condition: good original
Price: £20 GB
Status: Sold

an Edwardian silver handled BOOT HOOK by Frederick Beck, established at 269 City Road, London in 1900. It is hallmarked London 1901

Item reference: 3206
Dimensions: 11 inches overall
Condition: good original
Price: £28 GB
Status: Sold

An art deco silver handled buttonhook with engine turned design. It is hallmarked for London 1911 but the makers mark is rubbed (possibly G.U for George Unite)

Item reference: 3029
Dimensions: 6 and 1/2 inches overall
Condition: good original
Price: £7 GB
Status: Sold

It is rare to find any makers marks on the steel shaft of a buttonhook other than STEEL or ENGLISH MAKE STEEL but this example merits a fuller description than usual. Geoffrey Tweedale’s The Sheffield Knife Book describes Thomas Nowill, established in 1700 as a quintessential knife maker. The earliest record of this business is in the books of the Cutlers Company on 27th April 1700 when a corporate mark the letter “D” and a star was granted to Thomas Nowill, “Maker of Knives”.  Thomas Nowill’s great-grandson, Thomas II became Master Cutler in 1788, an honorary title of great prestige in this city of steel making and cutlery manufacture. The range of Nowill’s products was wide, chiefly comprising all types of pen & pocket knives, with all manner of hafting materials – ebony, pearl, buffalo and other horn. These products were usually sold to the firm’s major customers – merchants in Sheffield, Birmingham & London. In 1825 Thomas Nowill retired and left the business to his sons William & John. An 1828 Directory has “William & John Nowill, manufacturers of silver fruit and dessert knives, fancy pen & pocket knives, also nail files, button hooks, stilettos etc. The second of Thomas’s sons, John, set up business in 1836 in Scotland Street, Sheffield, maintaining the Nowill reputation and acquiring a further trade mark in 1842, crossed keys, and won a prize at the Great Exhibition in 1851. An unbroken family history of manufacturing of over 250 years is rare, if not unique in Sheffield cutlers. If you do have a button hook  with crossed keys, star & “D” it is one to treasure. This Victorian buttonhook is in fact a BOOT hook & one of the longest I have come across at 18 and 1/2 inches. It has a sterling silver collar & ebony handle and is hallmarked for Sheffield 1889. The working of the steel bolster where the handle meets the shaft is particularly fine & typical of Nowill’s work.

Item reference: 3038
Dimensions: 18 & 1/2 inches overall
Condition: good original
Price: £35 GB
Status: Sold

an interesting late 19th century French bronze & iron French leg + garter. The boot is buttoned in the current fashion. I have never previously seen this example in bronze and is smaller than most”French legs”

Item reference: 3008
Dimensions: 5 and 3/4 inches overall
Condition: some oxidisation on the foot
Price: £45 GB
Status: Sold

all-silver American glove hook marked STERLING 5804

Item reference: 2700
Dimensions: 2 and 3/4 inches overall
Condition: good original
Price: £20 GB
Status: Sold