13th September 2019

 Birmingham Button manufacturing: Part 6

According to the UK Detector Finds Database, manufacturers began to mark the backs of buttons with their names and addresses in the second half of the 18th century. There have been just too many manufacturers based in Birmingham for me to list, However, there are some good websites for button collectors and detectorists:




Below are listed some of the button manufacturers that were listed in a 1866 report into the Birmingham button trade by John Pemberton Turner. (Note that this is available to view online on the Hammond-Turner website.) More will follow!

Hammond  Turner & Sons:

Known for its sporting buttons made in the 1840-50 as well as military and civil uniform buttons, livery, sporting and fashion buttons.

Samuel Hammond (1740-1825) was listed in 1781 as a button maker.  By 1792  he was in partnership with John Turner (1764-1839) and John Dickinson (-1822). (Un-substaniated claims are that the company was established in 1717).

It was renamed Hammonds Turner & Sons after Hammond and Dickinson died. It was called Hammond Turner & Sons and run by Turner and his sons William (c.1800-1851) and Samuel (1802-1841). Unfortunately they all died by 1851. A new partner, Bates, joined the firm with a branch set up in Manchester under the name Hammond Turner & Bates and produced buttons. This name continued into the 1880s.

Although they seemed to make less (or none?) buttons after the 1850s, Hammond Turner & Sons Ltd continued into the early 20th century, making other metal items.


Armfield & Son/Armfield & Co

Edward Armfield (1759-1821)  was born in Birmingham. His grandfather had been a ‘toy maker’ and father a lock maker. He was the proprietor of the plated and gilt button factory, “Armfield & Son” at 9-10 Newall Street and Bath Row, Birmingham, established in 1763 and listed as a button maker by 1783. His sons Edward (1970-1888) and William (1793-1835) became partners in the button factory at now called “Armfield & Co”. They were known for their livery buttons. A bomb destroyed the factory in 1940. One of the above website lists them as still in operation, but I haven’t confirmed this.


G. & H. Bullivant/ Bullivalt & Tipson:


The company was founded circa 1800 by Charles Frederick Bullivant (1779-1843), and appear to originally have been called Edwards, Bullivant & Co.

In the London Gazette, 1811.


With Thomas Tipson as partner, the firm became Bullivant & Tipson in 1818 operating in Great Charles Street. They were known for their livery buttons. The partnership was dissolved in 1838. There  are also livery buttons backmarked  G. & H. Bullivant. They would be George and Henry Bullivant, button makers, Great Charles Street, listed in 1849 and 1868, two of Charles sons. I guess they took over the firm. Under this name they continued into the 20th century.





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