Author Topic: Buttons on uniform jackets of the noblemen weren't they expensive?  (Read 3876 times)

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Offline Amely

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I have understood that the buttons on uniforms of the noblemen costed a fortune.

With this perspective it seems strange that badges etc don't have much value. I don't quite understand this.

Does somebody have pictures of some buttons that costed a fortune or were expensive. There should be discussions about the buttons too on this forum if it is true buttons costed a lot. I have not seen a single picture of any button.

And if buttons cost fortunes then how come some badges weren't so expensive and were made only of silver?

Please, explain somebody who knows...Thanks a lot in advance.

Offline Daniel Briere

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Re: Buttons on uniform jackets of the noblemen weren't they expensive?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2009, 10:10:49 PM »
I unfortunately don’t know what was the specific cost buttons for military or civilian costumes in Imperial Russia. All I know for sure is that in general the cost of a good uniform was quite high. In the Guards, it was simply prohibitive as gold or silver was used profusely for embroideries, collars, cuffs, buttons & various accoutrements. Looking at photos of Court uniforms and those of high civilian officials, who were covered with gold, I have no doubt their cost were extremely high too.

Here’s a 2 piece construction military button :

And here are 3 different civilian gold buttons I have : eagle one was for civilian officials,  the middle one was for the Senate & Ministry of Justice , last one for civil servants of the Government of Moscow.

As for everything else there were various qualities of buttons. I have some gilded military buttons marked « 2nd quality » and some marked  « highest quality » (высшiй сортъ) which are still today bright as new (probably with a double or treble gilt). So my guess is that high quality buttons were quite expensive.
If you can read Russian, here’s a very interesting specialized site about Imperial Russian buttons :

Daniel Briere