Archive

A selection of buttonhooks which have been sold from 2007.

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

an all-silver STERLING glovehook of the The World’s Columbian Exposition, celebrating the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s landing in America.  It was actually held in 1893, a year later than had been planned with New York City, Washington, D.C., St.Louis, and Chicago all vieing for the honour of housing the exposition. On April 25, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the act that designated Chicago as the site of the exposition. It took three frantic years of preparation and work to produce the exposition. Although dedication ceremonies were held on October 21, 1892, the fairgrounds were not opened to the public until May 1, 1893.

Item reference: 2596
Dimensions: 3 inches overall
Condition: good original
Price: £30 GB
Status: Sold

one of the most sought after figural animal buttonhooks, the Spaniel and not only one but a matching pair! This shoehorn and buttonhook have heavy silver handles and are by Crisford & Norris, established at 118 Vyse Street, Birmingham in 1896. The steel shanks are both marked Steel. The shank on the buttonhook has a nice aged patina indicating much use over it’s 110 year life but the silver handle is in good condition. The marks are rubbed but the date letter is clear for 1901, the start of the  Edward VII reign.

Item reference: 2559
Dimensions: button hook 8 and 5/8 inches overall
Condition: good original
Price: £180 pair GB
Status: Sold

an art nouveau silver handled buttonhook with inset turquoise cabochon stone. The maker is the renowned Liberty & Company, established in 1875 at Regent Street, London & is hallmarked for London 1914. In the 1890s Arthur Lasenby Liberty built strong relationships with many leading English designers and studios such as Arthur Silver and the ‘Silver Studio’ . Many of these designers were key figures in the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements and Arthur Liberty was instrumental in the development of British Art Nouveau through his encouragement of such designers.

Item reference: 2554
Dimensions: 9 and 1/2 inches overall
Condition: being completely plain silver it is inevitable there will be signs of use after almost 100 years . The photos give a good representative picture of the condition but on the reverse side there are two very small bruises but because of light reflection will not show in the photo.
Price: £130 GB
Status: Sold

a rare example of an agate handled buttonhook with silver collar by George Edward Walton of 59 Hatton Garden London EC and 52 Hylton Street, Birmingham. This maker is renowned for agate & silver combinations but what makes this different is that the agate is New Zealand South Island greenstone, known as Pounamu or nephrite jade. It is important in Maori culture & is marked G.E.W STERLING so probably made for the export market

Item reference: 2553
Dimensions: 8 inches overall
Condition: the small black "flecks" in the photo are inclusions in the stone which is translucent and similar to moss agate. Both the handle and the silver collar are in perfect condition.
Price: £65 GB
Status: Sold

an embossed silver Edwardian scabbard buttonhook by Francis Webb, established at 19 Great Hampton Street, Birmingham in 1887. The hook part is reversible and fits into the handle making it compact when not in use. It is hallmarked for Birmingham 1903

Item reference: 2518
Dimensions: 5 and 1/4 inches open
Condition: smallest discolouration where handle meets the steel shank as can be seen in the photos
Price: £35 GB
Status: Sold

an all-silver and Connemara agate glove buttonhook by J Cook & Sons, established at Livery Street, Birmingham in 1888. The design is in the form of an Irish harp & is hallmarked for Birmingham 1902

Item reference: 2517
Dimensions: 3 inches overall
Condition: good original
Price: £35 GB
Status: Sold

This William Comyns figural silver boothook of a woman in classical dress with three small children clinging to her is one of Comyns most sought after button hooks. The second-century Roman mother was known as Sophia and her children as Faith, Hope & Charity in the anglicised form. They are sometimes known as Charity & her children. This quartet of frail females stood up to the brutal might of Rome at a time when a mere whisper of dissent could mean death to a Roman citizen. Sophia was a widow under whose loving care her three daughters acquired a poise and Christian virtue, looked upon with respect by the village which they left for the rewarding city life of Rome, the Eternal City. Through their devout Christianity, they came into conflict with the Emperor Hadrian who did not share the view that Christianity was a harmless form of worship. The rest of the story will be included with the button hook for the successful buyer but as they became Saints you might guess the fate of the family! The heavy handle is cast in solid silver, not stamped in two halves as is more usual, and has the equally heavy stylized “London” steel shank which is typical of William Comyns production. It is hallmarked for London 1887 plus Victoria’s head making it one of the earliest Victorian boot hooks.

Item reference: 2497
Dimensions: 11 and 3/4 inches overall
Condition: good original
Price: £120 GB
Status: Sold

Chinese Export all-silver buttonhook by Zee Sung of Shanghai & dating from the early 1900’s. It has an engraved floral cartouche with initial “M”

Item reference: 2496
Dimensions: 9 inches overall
Condition: good original
Price: £66 GB
Status: Sold

an owl with the garnet eyes to paraphrase Edmund de Waal’s eponymous hare with amber eyes! No – this is not a netsuke but a silver handled buttonhook by Crisford & Norris, established at 118 Vyse Street, Birmingham in 1896. The steel shank is marked English Make Steel. Garnet cut stones set in silver, it is hallmarked for Birmingham 1912

Item reference: 2493
Dimensions: 5 and 3/4 inches overall
Condition: small distortion of one ear, otherwise good original
Price: £58 GB
Status: Sold