I would welcome any suggestions about a set of 6 decorative buttons that I have.
They came from a great aunt of mine so I have no idea how old they are. They are in a red box with a Mappin Brothers logo on the lining inside. Part of it says ‘By her Majesty’s special warrant’ so I assume this must either make them post-1952 or pre-1901.
Five of the buttons have what looks like Britannia on them and the sixth a different mythological figure.
They are very discoloured BUT I can’t find any hallmarks on them (just a number on the back of each). Am I right in assuming then that they are not silver? Could they still be electroplated? Or are they more likely to be pewter?
Although there is a weight limit below which silver did not need to be hallmarked (currently 7.78g), I would have expected silver buttons to be marked. Consequently I have to assume that your buttons are not silver. They could be electroplated or alternatively a base metal. It is impossible to be sure without having contact with them.
Mappin Brothers became part of Mappin & Webb in 1902, so that gives you a latest possible date.
Thank you very much for your help. The buttons are quite light so that is a possibility but, as you say, it doesn’t seem likely that they are silver. I think I will try carefully cleaning the underside of one to see what colour emerges.
Your information about the date is very useful. Thank you.