Button Whistles I. Button Whistles Corner 1.
An English dog call or hunting signal call, Two different hand made copper buttons depicting a horse on one button and a dog on the other, I call these type art button whistles since the so called “Buttons” were never made as actual buttons but rather seem to be especially made as copper side plates.
The body is made of thick Iron, two parts, and a triangle made of thick wire for loop. Altogether 4 parts loop and pea. It is Victorian and an early Escargot type –
Snail Type – button whistle. The dating of these is not yet clear but an educated guess would be 1850s to 1870s.
Button whistles are predominantly English made, Button type from other countries are seldom met with and if there are, They are “Coin Whistles” – whistles with coins on sides instead of buttons. Here is a rare exception a German made one, it is made of German Silver with copper buttons with the eagle, the Coat of Arms of the German Empire, : Deutsches Kaiserreich, officially Deutsches Reich) 1871-1918.
The whistle has a long “Beak” a triangular under-strengthening and a tooth-grip. There is a variant which uses smaller sleeve buttons (see next Photo), these came from Danzig, Gedansk, and used by navy officials pre WWI .
A smaller version, the photo below shows a Sleeve button whistle & the eagle logo on coins used 1898 to 1918. (Thanks John).
The older whistle museum blog , a virtual museum, had about 500 posts some full articles some a spotlight on specific whistle or type, probably over 400 were posted. Luckily some where kept or saved by internet archives, few were about button whistles.
Bradford Police Button whistle with the old Bradford city logo of a wild boar head. POLICE BUTTON WHISTLES IN THE 19th Century.
As I planned to write about police button whistles, I ran into few hundreds
of button whistles photos, So while hoping to do few larger articles about Button whistles, which was my original intention, I was rethinking the subject which is huge and includes many sub-categories, to name few of the Buttons and functions; Many General Service as Marin Button whistles, Military Button whistles, Police, Prison, Fire Brigade, Post Office, Others as Railway companies, Family crests, Fairy tails, Tokens, Bicycles, Coin Whistles, added buttons, and many many more.
Another later group would be line produced whistles with embossed sides whistles which replaced the buttons.
Button whistles are fascinating for me since there is an extra added value and interest for research, with each. The Buttons by themselves are a huge special field with more and more info on the web.
Another point is that design wise, construction wise, there are hardly ever two that match in construction. That brings to mind the identification of the makers,
but many of the so called “whistle makers” especially in Birmingham and London started as Button makers. at a slow pace I think I cracked some of the makers. Collecting whistles is still the interest of very few, most
collectors are in centered in the U.S.A and in the U.K. (Should devote a special article to whistle collectors).
So as I understood what a huge task writing a long article would be, I did a “corner” here and would bring few at a time, and try to formulate a longer article. A good place to see many Button & Coin whistles, with photos by Leif Bailey. most of these are at the whistle museum reference collection.
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A. Strauss, All rights reserved.